Even since the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, several states have faced shortages of oxygen, ICU and other beds, and medications like Remdesivir etc. But, while most of the states seemed to have stabilised the supply of these essentials against their demand, Delhi is still facing a serious shortage of oxygen. For over two weeks now the Delhi High Court is monitoring the oxygen supply situation in the national capital, the centre is increasing the oxygen allocation for Delhi, but still, daily Delhi hospitals send SOS saying they only have few hours of oxygen left.
Hearing centre’s plea against Delhi High Court threatening to file contempt of court against the central govt over oxygen supply in Delhi, the Supreme Court today suggested that the Mumbai model of oxygen management should be studied to find out if it can be implemented in Delhi. The apex court said that the Mumbai municipal corporation did well to manage the oxygen situation.
The observation by the Supreme Court is valid, as it has been observed that the consumption of oxygen is unusually high in Delhi compared to other places with comparative Covid-19 numbers. For example, if one compares Delhi’s oxygen consumption with Mumbai, it appears Delhi’s consumption is double the consumption in Mumbai despite having similar active cases.
For example, on 20th April, Mumbai had an active caseload of 84,743, the highest in the last 15 days, and the oxygen consumption in the city was 245 MT. On 3rd May, Delhi had 89,592 active cases at 89,592, but its oxygen demand on that day was 976 MT, four times Mumbai’s use, while the city received 433 MT of oxygen on that day, double of Mumbai’s consumption.
According to data provided by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, O₂ consumption in the city is hovering between 220 MT to 245 MT from 20th April to 1st May, with the requirement coming down gradually. During this period, Delhi’s active case numbers around 1.5 times of Mumbai’s, but the oxygen demand in the city is much more.
According to AAP leaders, Delhi has been demanding 700 MT of oxygen per day during the last fortnight of April, and its demand went up to 976 MT per day from 29th April. On that day, Delhi Deputy CM wrote to the union govt demanding 976 MT oxygen per day. On that day, it had active case load of 97,977. On the same day, Mumbai consumed 225 MT oxygen for 61,433 active cases. If we go by Mumbai’s average O₂ for that day, Delhi should need around 360 MT. According to the Delhi govt, they received 400 MT of oxygen on that day, which means they received more oxygen than the consumption by Mumbai.
|Date||Mumbai Active cases||Mumbai Consumption||Mumbai Average use||Delhi Active cases||Delhi Demand||Delhi Received||Delhi Average Demand||Delhi Average Received|
O₂ quantity in MT. Average is O₂ in MT per 1000 active cases. *-Estimated amount
While the Delhi govt is claiming that it is receiving less than half of what it needs, the fact is that the quantity received by Delhi is more than what Mumbai consumed at a similar number of active Covid-19 cases.
This shows that while Delhi is not getting what it is demanding, mostly due to the lack of oxygen availability in nearby states, and lack of adequate number of tankers, it is still getting more than the quantity that Mumbai is using at a similar level of active cases.
This points towards two possibilities, either the number of covid-19 patients requiring oxygen is disproportionately high in Delhi, or there are issues with the management of the gas in the capital city, with perhaps leakage.
In fact, the union govt has also noticed this mismatch in oxygen demand by Mumbai and Delhi, and looking at Mumbai’s oxygen supply management to know how they are managing the oxygen supply so better than Delhi.
While the Delhi govt is demanding more oxygen, it also has been alleging that the centre is giving other states more oxygens compared to demand. But they are missing one important detail, which is the demand by other states is much less in relation to the number of active cases. While most states demanding around 2-3 MT of oxygen per 1000 active cases, Delhi’s demand is more than 7 MT per 1000 active cases.
Therefore, Delhi is demanding more oxygen not only compared to Mumbai, but almost all other states.