ILNS: The Delhi High Court was told on Monday that hospitals in the capital were reducing official bed capacity to cut oxygen requirement and thus diminish casualty figures.
The bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli were hearing petitions regarding shortage of beds, drugs, and oxygen supply when these facts emerged. Also, hospitals, which had demanded a certain quantity of oxygen, were getting way below the sought quantity.
The two revelations mean that, while for the official death figures from hospitals might be under control, coronavirus patients will suffer even more, because the number of beds in those hospitals are decreasing.
Senior Counsel Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, told the bench: “Our entire projection of oxygen with reference to hospitals was through the Central government.”
“What has been happening is that because oxygen is not being supplied in the quantity required, hospitals have reduced their bed capacity. That is to just minimize the casualty. Therefore, requirement of oxygen is reduced. Hence, these quantities are changing every day,” he added.
Mehra made it clear that he doesn’t know the “right solution” for this problem. He said he was in discussion with the Amicus and other parties and ‘would surely come out with a solution’.
He said: “We are already reducing it (demand) pro-rata wise. Our demand was 490 MT (for Delhi). Suppliers said they will give 445 and we got 425, so we arranged it as per formula to distribute 419.”
Alok K Aggarwal said: “We were allotted 2MT. It was reduced to 1 MT. Now they give us only 0.55 MT, that too after a waiting period of 12 hours. Our request is kindly do not decrease it to this much. A minimum should be given.”
Mehra said: “I know this issue needs to be addressed immediately. If we are so unable to reach any solution, we will be here tomorrow.”