India’s COVID ’emergency’ amid record jump in virus infections

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The defence minister held a virtual meeting to review the preparedness of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces to deal with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the country. "We are trying to increase oxygen production and supply across the country". As per Delhi government's estimate, the city needs 700 tonnes per day, however, the Centre yesterday gave only 480 tonnes. Sisodia alleged officials of the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments stopped oxygen delivery from reaching Delhi.

"... We request the family members of all patients on oxygen support to please transfer within the next hour the said patients to any centre where continuous oxygen supply can be ensured". Metro Hospital in east Delhi also complained that it was running low on oxygen.

The bench further pulled up the Central Government for providing exemption to steel and petroleum industries while banning the use of oxygen for industrial purposes.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, " If it can wait till tomorrow, I can take proper instructions and assist the court". In Delhi, the police had to be used to clear road blockages for faster movement of life-saving oxygen tankers.

India said last week it would allow the use of all COVID-19 shots that have been greenlit by the World Health Organization or regulators in the United States, Europe, Britain or Japan. New oxygen manufacturing plants can not be installed overnight. "Considering the immediate requirement on the recommendation of the department of pharmaceuticals, the department of revenue has waived customs duty on Remdesivir and its API/KSM". He also said to keep a record of the injection.

Delhi has been facing a serious shortage of oxygen supply for the last week amid the surge in severe cases of COVID-19.

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Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said there was a shortage of intensive care unit beds, with the city needing about 5,000 more than it could find. "When things in Maharashtra started going out of hand, some of us tried to flag this issue", the first member added.

Dr Solanki said he had informed officials concerned to transfer out 30 patients. "You take your own sweet time and people die".

The High Court declared that if people died due to lack of oxygen, it would be considered a crime. "The hospital beds should be utilised judiciously and with responsibility".

According to the note, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Burari Hospital, Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, B L Kapoor Hospital and Max Hospital in Patparganj were among those having only eight to 12 hours of oxygen left at 6 pm on Tuesday.

Himself in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, Adityanath said: "Responsible officers should be deployed at the oxygen refilling centres". His statement comes at a time when the social media is flooded with requests for oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentration machines that are either not available or are selling at exorbitant prices in the black market.

"The double mutant.is considerably more infectious than the older strain of virus", said Gautam I. Menon, a professor at Ashoka University.

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