With the spectre of Covid-19 second wave being brought afresh amidst the fear around Omicron variant, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said his government is ready this time to overcome any difficulty.
“I hope that the Omicron virus does not reach here and that there should not be a third wave. The country overcame the pandemic after a lot of difficulty. However, if it hits us again, we are ready,” Kejriwal said as he chaired a high-level meeting with all concerned ministers, officials and other stakeholders on Tuesday on the availability of oxygen beds, ICU beds, Covid-19 medicines, supply, storage and availability of oxygen, vaccine doses and manpower. He has been appealing to PM Narendra Modi to ban flights from ‘at risk’ countries in the wake of the new Omicron variant.
“Last time, we had scaled up the number of beds to 25,000. This time, we have already readied 30,000 oxygen beds of which approximately 10,000 are ICU beds,” he said. He even said by the end of February, 17,000 ICU beds would be ready.
The government will provide 100 ICU beds in each of 270 municipal wards, that is, nearly 27,000 ICU beds in around two weeks. The national capital is, however, aiming to set up 64,000 to 65,000 ICU beds in total and the manpower required for this are being trained, the CM explained.
All Delhi hospitals have a capacity of nearly 750 MT of oxygen and an additional storage capacity of 442 MT of oxygen has been created. The government is also buying 15 oxygen tankers, which should reach Delhi in a month.
Recalling the acute shortage of essential drugs to treat Covid-19 during the deadly second wave, Kejriwal said a buffer stock of 32 such essential drugs is being built and the government is placing orders to procure them.
With 93% of Delhi people fully vaccinated and around 57% inoculated with the first dose, Kejriwal urged the residents to get both the jabs.
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain tweeted the government’s order designating the capital’s Lok Nayak Hospital dedicated to treating patients infected with the new variant of SARS -COV-2. No patient with the new Covid-19 variant will be denied admission on any ground, Jain said.
According to the official data, Delhi lost a 25,095 lives to Covid-19 with the majority of deaths occurring during the second wave.