It’s an interim report, oxygen needs change from day-to-day: AIIMS chief on oxygen controversy


PTI, Jun 26, 2021, 4:14 PM IST

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New Delhi: Amid controversy over a report on Delhi’s oxygen needs submitted by a Supreme Court-appointed panel headed by him, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Saturday said it is an interim one and oxygen requirements are dynamic and change from day-to-day.

In the report, the five-member sub group headed by Guleria said that Delhi’s oxygen needs were ”exaggerated” by four times during the second Covid wave.

”It is an interim report. The oxygen needs are dynamic and change from day to day. The matter is subjudice,” AIIMS chief told PTI.

Following the report, the BJP had on Friday had accused the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation of ”criminal negligence”, while the AAP government in turn charged the saffron party with ”cooking up” such a report.

On Saturday, Kejriwal sought to move on from the controversy and called for everyone to work together to ensure there is no shortage of oxygen in the next Covid wave.

”May we work now if your fight over oxygen is finished? Let us together make a system so no one faces shortage of oxygen in the third wave,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.

”There was an acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave. It should not be so in the third wave. Corona will win if we fight with each other. The nation will win if we fight together,” he added.

The sub-group constituted by the Supreme Court to audit oxygen consumption in hospitals in the national capital during the second wave said the Delhi government ”exaggerated” the consumption of oxygen and made a claim of 1,140 MT, four times higher than the formula for bed capacity requirement of 289 MT.

The five-member panel said the Delhi government had made the claims for allocation of 700 MT oxygen on April 30 of medical grade oxygen using a ”wrong formula”.

Two members, B S Bhalla, Delhi government’s principal home secretary, home, and Max Healthcare’s Clinical Director Sandeep Budhiraja, questioned the conclusions.

Bhalla gave his objections and comments on the 23-page interim report shared with him on May 30. The report has an annexure of communication sent by Bhalla on May 31 in which he said a reading of the draft interim report makes it “painfully apparent” that the sub-group, instead of focussing on the task, delineated from the terms of order of the Supreme Court dated May 6.

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