Nine government hospitals in the city now have pressure swing adsorption oxygen plants, compared to just one on April 24, said government officials, an increase that is likely to significantly ease the Capital’s oxygen crisis.
Further, Covid-19 patients being treated under home isolation will soon get to book oxygen cylinders through a proper government portal, senior Delhi government officials said, in what is likely to be relief for many in the Capital.
Senior Delhi government officials on Saturday said the intra-city distribution of medical oxygen has been streamlined “to a great extent”, because of which the number of SOS calls from hospitals also fell to 10 on Friday, as compared to a previous high of 49 logged on Tuesday.
Ashish Kundra, Delhi’s transport commissioner and officer-on-special-duty (health), said the city administration, on the directions of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, has created a new online portal where Covid-19 patients can soon book oxygen cylinders, for which separate e-passes will be generated.
To be sure, this portal is separate from the oxygen cylinder donation portal launched by the government on Thursday.
“On Saturday, we started the portal for online booking of oxygen cylinders. But as of now, it shows only the depots and their location on Google Maps, from where people can get oxygen cylinders on the basis of a valid ID card and doctor’s prescription. Soon, we will provide details of dealers in the portal as well. In a few days, we will upgrade the portal to enable patients and their families to book cylinders and appointments to pick them up from the dealers. This will be done through an e-pass system. We are trying to create a sizeable bank of cylinders first, so that we can launch the booking system,” said Kundra.
Also read | Covid-19 in Delhi: Fewest new infections in a day since April 15, positivity rate falls to 23.3%
Under its donation drive, the Delhi government has been able to collect 1,284 oxygen cylinders, of which more than 1,172 cylinders were distributed on Friday alone for patients in home isolation. This exercise is also being monitored by the Niti Aayog, which is the central focal point to supervise the total number of donation of oxygen cylinders.
On average, state government data showed that Delhi is getting 507.5MT oxygen every day, of which 29% is supplied by the railways and 71% comes through roadways.
The data also showed that private hospitals are getting most of the oxygen (50.20%) each day, because they have the most beds, in absolute terms. Delhi government hospitals get 20.20%, while central facilities get 9.39%.
Of the remainder, 15.67% is reserved for emergency calls and another 3.03% is distributed to districts.
Delhi received 488MT of oxygen on Friday, while it got 577MT on Thursday. The Capital received 730MT of medical oxygen on Wednesday, the only day so far it has received its quota as mandated by the Supreme Court.
“The oxygen supply chain has become more efficient through railway movement. All district magistrates are tracking each re-filler and making sure it reaches its destination. A team of officers is working constantly to monitor the status of demand and supply of oxygen in the Capital. Real-time monitoring of oxygen tankers is being done by the team formed by the government to mitigate the challenges and obstacles in the supply chain management. The Delhi government has also deputed a team of officers to each of the oxygen plant locations. This team makes sure there are no glitches or any administrative obstacles in the oxygen supply to Delhi,” said Kundra.
He said a GPS tracking system is helping monitor the locations of the tankers in real-time.
Meanwhile, of the 47 PSA oxygen plants to be installed in different hospitals, 9 have been set up. Of these, four have been installed by the Centre, three through government-to-government partnerships with foreign countries, while two have been put up through the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Some of the hospitals that now have these PSA oxygen plants include Burari hospital (with an oxygen generation capacity of 500 litres per minute), Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital (700LPM), Lok Nayak hospital (2,000LPM), Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, (500LPM), Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, AIIMS, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial hospital (80-100 big cylinders a day) and Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra Hospital.