Need more medicines, oxygen, CM tells Centre

Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said he had spoken to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan about the shortage of oxygen, beds and essential medicines such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab in the Capital.

Mr. Kejriwal said the government was in the process of adding 6,000 beds across various facilities over the coming three-four days and requested the Centre for assistance.

He added that the weekend curfew, which came into effect at 10 p.m. on Friday night and will remain in force till 5 a.m. on Monday, was put in place out of “compulsion” and the government was constantly monitoring the situation.

If the gravity of the surge in the city increases further, Mr. Kejriwal said the government would take “any step” to ensure the safety and health of the citizens.

“With the pace at which COVID is spreading, none of us know when it will reach its peak,” he said at a digital briefing.

“I told Dr. Vardhan there is a huge shortage of beds in Delhi. In November, the Centre allotted us 4,100 beds. This time, they have provided 1,800 beds even though this wave is three times more fatal than the previous ones,” he added.

There are around 10,000 beds under the Centre in Delhi of which at least 50% must be reserved for COVID-19, he said, adding: “At AIIMS, there are 1,162 beds out of which only 23 are reserved for COVID patients.”

On test results taking 3-4 days instead of 24 hours, the Chief Minister said strict action would be taken against labs that accept more samples than their capacity and do not provide results in 24 hours.


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