Delhi Chief Minister on Tuesday said his government was gearing itself up to face a possible third wave of Covid-19 in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. He held a meeting of officials of the departments concerned today to review the position of testing facilities, hospital beds (including ICU beds), oxygen supply, manpower training, availability of essential medicines, and the status of vaccination in the national capital.
Addressing a digital press conference, he said, “30,000 oxygen-fitted hospital beds and 10,000 ICU beds are already available to meet the challenge posed by the new variant of Covid-19. As many as 6,800 ICU beds were under construction and will be ready for use by February next year. In all, around 63,800 hospital beds are being arranged for handling the new Covid-19 situation in Delhi.”
He claimed the government would be able to prepare 100 oxygen beds in every municipal ward at a short notice of two weeks. The city has 270 municipal wards and this means the government will have to create 27,000 hospital beds at a short notice if the situation so demands.
Kejriwal informed that the manpower that might be needed to successfully fight the coronavirus-caused battle was undergoing proper training. According to an official assessment, 32 types of medicines may be required for curing Covid-19 patients during the feared third wave. An order to purchase medicines has been placed in this regard and within two months a buffer stock of these medicines will be ready, he claimed.
The Chief Minister said the home isolation system was also being strengthened to effectively handle the likely health crisis.
So far as the oxygen availability issue is concerned, he said Delhi would now have 442 metric tonnes of oxygen storage capacity to ensure that there was no shortage of oxygen in any hospital in the city. The national capital now has 121 metric tonnes of oxygen generation capacity of its own. A proper oxygen management system was being created with the installation of a telemetry device in oxygen tanks so that the “war room” to come up for fighting the battle is able to effectively handle any oxygen-related issue.
Kejriwal said 6000 D-type cylinders were being imported from China for arranging oxygen. Delhi today has 2900 daily oxygen cylinder filling capacity and 15 oxygen tankers are being purchased to further buttress the oxygen availability position.
In the end, he appealed to all those who are due to be administered their second vaccine dose to get it done if the waiting period was over.
“But there is no need to worry about the threat of a third wave of the pandemic as the Delhi government is fully getting ready to meet it effectively. However, let us hope it does not come,” the Chief Minister added.