New Delhi, April 18:

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday expressed concerns over shortage of oxygen supply and ICU beds in the Capital, while noting that the city recorded around 25,500 new cases in 24 hours and the positivity rate increased to around 30% from 24% recorded the previous day.

Kejriwal said that less than 100 ICU beds were left in Delhi while urging Union home minister Amit Shah to increase the number of Covid-19 beds in Central government hospitals and help with oxygen supply. It’s shortage, he claimed, could trigger a major crisis any moment as the situation was deteriorating every passing second.

“In the last 24 hours, Delhi recorded around 25,500 new cases, up from around 24,000 the previous day and 19,500 new cases the day before that. The more concerning thing is that the positivity rate in the last 24 hours has gone up to 30% from around 24% the previous day,” said Kejriwal in a video press briefing on Sunday.

He further said, “Cases are increasing at a fast rate and Covid-19 beds are getting occupied across the city. People are getting admitted in hospitals at an unprecedented rate. There is a major crisis of ICU beds. There are less than 100 ICU beds left in Delhi. We are facing a major shortage of oxygen too. Last night, a private hospital told us that they almost ran into a disaster situation last night with a major shortage of oxygen supply.”

“We are constantly in touch with the Central government. We are getting a lot of help from them. We thank them for that. Yesterday I spoke with Union health minister Harsh Vardhan. He was informed about the situation. Today, I spoke to Union home minister Amit Shah over phone. I have told him that we need more beds. In Delhi, the Central government hospitals collectively have around 10,000 beds, of which around 1,800 are currently reserved for Covid-19 patients. I have requested him (Shah) to reserve at least 7,000 beds for Covid-19. The situation in Delhi is deteriorating every second. I also requested that oxygen supply be provided to us immediately,” said Kejriwal.

He further said that the Delhi government will be adding more than 6,000 additional Covid-19 beds with oxygen facilities in the next 2-3 days in locations that include Covid treatment facilities set up at Yamuna Sports Complex, Commonwealth Games (CWG) village and premises of Radha Soami Satsang Beas. “We don’t know how many ICU beds we will be able to increase in such a short time. There are limitations. But we have seen that most patients primarily need high-flow oxygen. So, we are arranging more high-flow oxygen systems so that more beds can be converted into oxygen beds,” he said.