Less oxygen allotment at Delhi base hospital, Army complains to govt

Family members of COVID-19 patients arrive at the oxygen filling shop to refill the oxygen cylinders amid the rise in coronavirus cases, in Agra on Thursday. [ANI]

Indian Army on Tuesday raised an issue of less allotment of oxygen to its base hospital in the national capital by the Delhi government.

The force stated that the hospital has a daily requirement of 3.4 MT of oxygen. The Delhi government allocated 1 MT till Monday.

All of a sudden on Tuesday, the allotment was reduced to 0.4 MT.

A senior Army officer stated that the matter has been taken up with the Ministry of Defence which further has taken up with the issue with the Delhi government. “There is a problem. Oxygen was allocated less than the requirement. We are trying to resolve the matter with the government,” said a senior officer.

After a hue and cry started, Western Command of the Force assured all serving personnel, veterans and dependents of their assistance and full support.

Sources, however, stated that the four times expansion of the Base Hospital to provide extensive medical assistance during the Covid surge may take the hit after this.

At the start of the current Covid-19 wave, the Base Hospital catered for 340 Covid beds of which just 250 beds were oxygenated. “This resource was being severely stretched for additional capacities due to exponential rise in cases,” Colonel Aman Anand said.

Despite the beds being filled to their capacity, patients over and above this capacity were being treated in the Trauma Centre after obtaining their willingness to wait for beds.

“A plan was quickly put in place to expand the capacity to 650 Covid beds of which 450 beds have been oxygenated by April 30, 2021,” the officer said.

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was also enhanced from 12 beds to 35 ICU beds by April 29. “Next phase of expansion will see the present capacity being augmented to 900 oxygenated beds by the second week of June 2021,” he said.