As of now, Delhi has been allocated 480 metric tonnes of oxygen for its hospitals. Once the national capital increases bed capacity to deal with the current Covid-19 surge, it will need as much as 1,000 MTs oxygen, the Delhi HC was told on Thursday. Appearing before the court, which is hearing the oxygen crisis matter in Delhi, Amicus Curiae, senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao, referred to the allocation made by the Centre as on April 20 and submitted that while the capital’s demand was 700 MTs oxygen, it was allocated 480 MTs, mentioning that there are several instances of states where the allocation made by the government was higher than the demand, according to an IE report.
He referred the state of Madhya Pradesh where the demand for the life-saving gas was 445 MTs and the state was provided 543 MTs oxygen as well as the state of Maharashtra where the demand for the gas was 1,500 MTs and was provided 1,661 MTs by the Centre. Earlier, the Delhi government had argued that the Centre has miserably failed the nation as well as the state and it sought change in allocation to it.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing Delhi, told the HC that the national capital didn’t ask for 490 MT. The state would need 976 MTs of medical oxygen if it has to augment bed capacity in order to deal with the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may peak by May 15, he said. He told the High Court that there are 16,272 non-ICU beds in the city’s major hospitals and by applying the formula of the central government, the requirement for those beds is 304 MTs oxygen. There are several other hospitals as well as nursing homes with less than 100 beds and their requirement of oxygen put together is estimated at 120 MTs, he told the court.
The Senior Advocate further submitted that considering the COVID-19 pandemic may peak by May 15, arrangements are being made by the government to add another 15,000 non-ICU beds which would need 280 MTs of liquid oxygen. At present, there are as many as 4,866 ICU beds and the state wants to add another 1,200 beds by May 10, he told the court. Liquid oxygen’s existing requirement for 4,866 ICU beds is 272 MTs. The total existing demand for the life-saving gas is 704 MTs in Delhi which has been the demand since the beginning, he told the court. After augmentation of bed capacity, the demand would be 976-1,000 MTs in total, Mehra added.