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Shortage of oxygen, ICU beds in Delhi, says Kejriwal as city reports 24,000 new COVID cases

Govt is taking several steps to scale up beds capacity, says CM

Jama Masjid wears a deserted look during weekend curfew on Saturday | PTI Jama Masjid wears a deserted look during weekend curfew on Saturday | PTI

The COVID-19 situation in Delhi continues to be grim with the city reporting over 24,000 new cases on Saturday—the highest single day spike so far. At a press meet in the evening, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Delhi was witnessing shortage of oxygen, Remdesivir and tocilizumab.

On Friday, Delhi had recorded 19,486 fresh COVID-19 cases and 141 deaths. The positivity rate in Delhi has reached 24 per cent which means one in four persons being tested turns out to be positive, the chief minister said.

“Delhi has a limited number of ICU beds. Oxygen and ICU beds are decreasing very sharply. We are taking several steps to scale up the beds capacity,” he said.

Kejriwal said the Central government had given 4,100 beds in November, but this time they gave only 1,800 beds.

“I hope that we add 6,000 beds in next two or three days. No one knows when the peak will come,” he said, adding that he had requested Union health minister Harsh Vardhan to reserve 50 per cent beds for COVID patients.

“We will keep a close eye on the situation for some days. If the situation deteriorates, we will take whatever step is needed to save your lives,” he further said.

Kejriwal claimed that the government was getting complaints that some labs were taking 2-3 days to give COVID-19 reports to patients. 

“The reason is that these labs are taking more samples than their capacity. Strict action will be taken against such labs that will not give report within 24 hours,” the chief minister said.

Earlier, Kejriwal had directed officials to create more COVID facilities and to increase the strength of oxygen beds across Delhi. The officials were also asked to ensure real-time availability of beds of the Delhi Corona app and that the information on the number of beds is exact, a Delhi government official said.

The Delhi government had on Thursday announced sweeping restrictions, including a weekend curfew and the closure of malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums, in a bid to break the chain of COVID infections in the city.

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