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Delhi govt requests to deploy Army in the national capital amid raging Chinese coronavirus pandemic

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia wrote to Defence Ministry and requested the deployment of Army in Delhi.

Delhi Government has written a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh seeking the help of the Army to set up, operationalise and manage some Covid-19 health facilities in the national capital amidst the rampaging coronavirus outbreak.

In his letter, Manish Sisodia asked Singh for Army’s assistance in running COVID-19 facilities with 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds, citing the burden on the city’s already overwhelmed health infrastructure.

“Since the entire health infrastructure machinery is overwhelmed with the management of the existing hospitals and the upcoming Covid hospitals, it will be a timely help to the people of Delhi if the ministry of defence, with the considerable resources at its command, is tasked with the responsibility to provide and man the additional Covid health facilities as per the current projections,” Sisodia wrote.

Sisodia drew attention to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, alleging that at least 10 per cent of the new cases will require some form of hospitalisation and the Army could step in to rapidly augment the capacity needed to address the new cases.

“As of now, Delhi has 16,272 non-ICU oxygen beds and 4,866 ICU beds, and the Delhi government is creating an additional 15,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,200 ICU beds, which will be operational in the next 10 days. But as Delhi is recording over 25,000 new cases every day and about 10 per cent of these new cases require some form of hospitalisation, the additional health infrastructure will soon be at its capacity,” Sisodia wrote.

Sisodia also thanked the Centre for augmenting Delhi’s oxygen supply, along with applauding the work undertaken by the DRDO, ITBP, and other organisations in helping the capital fight with this resurgent wave of the coronavirus outbreak. The deputy CM also asked the government to provide cryogenic tankers for the transport of Liquid Medical Oxygen. The government of Delhi, with necessary assistance from the government of India and other state governments, is improving the transport infrastructure by sourcing cryogenic tankers even from abroad, he said.

Sisodia also said that Delhi is in need of 40,000 D type medical oxygen cylinders and requested the ministry to provide medical and paramedical teams to supplement the medical manpower of Delhi.

Delhi is in throes of a ferocious second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, with around 25,000 new cases being reported on a daily basis from the last several days. Besides the growing number of cases, Delhi’s predicament was compounded by the scarcity of oxygen, beds and vital drugs to fight the COVID-19 infection. The hospitals are already running at an overstretched capacity. About 12 people at Delhi’s Batra hospital died on Saturday after the hospital ran out of oxygen supply for 1.5 hours.

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