Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 5 June said the government has made preparations to deal with a possible third Covid-19 wave that could peak at 37,000 cases a day.
“At the peak of the second wave, 28,000 cases were reported on one day. On the basis of our consultation with experts, we are assuming that during the peak of the third wave, there might be 37,000 cases. Keeping this number in mind, we will ramp up our beds, oxygen capacity and medicines,” he said.
In an online briefing, Kejriwal announced the setting up of a paediatric task force and two genome sequencing labs as well as a plan to ramp up oxygen capacity in Delhi.
The paediatric task force will give recommendations on protecting children during the third wave. Based on its advice, the government will set up ICU and oxygen beds.
The two genome sequencing labs, which will identify variants of the virus, will come up at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital and the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in Delhi.
The Delhi government will create a buffer stock of important medicines. The government is planning to ramp up oxygen capacity to prepare for a possible third Covid wave.
Kejriwal said the government is buying 25 oxygen tankers and putting up 64 oxygen plants in the next few weeks to ensure Delhi doesn’t face another oxygen crisis as it did during the second wave.
“We are creating an oxygen storage capacity of 420 tonnes to tackle the possibility of another oxygen crisis. We have spoken to Indraprastha Gas Limited and asked them to create a 150-tonne oxygen production plant,” the chief minister said.
“Delhi is not an industrial state and doesn’t have its own tankers but we are buying 25 tankers in order to prepare for the third wave,” Kejriwal said.
The government will create a buffer stock of important medicines and private hospitals will also be given instructions to do so, he said.
“We will create a team of doctors and experts to assess which medicines are required for coronavirus. If they inform us about a particular medicine being effective in the treatment of the virus, we will try and procure it. In case they say a medicine does not help in the treatment, we will make people aware about it,” said Kejriwal.
Arvind Kejriwal said that he held a six-hour meeting with officials and experts on 4 June to prepare a comprehensive plan for a third wave of the coronavirus.
On 27 May, the Delhi government set up a 13-member committee to prepare an action plan for a possible third wave after assessing the current status and projected requirement of health infrastructure such as hospitals, oxygen plants and drug supplies.
Another eight-member expert committee was set up to devise a strategy for mitigation and management of the third wave.
Delhi has been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that has swept the country and claimed many lives. The acute shortage of oxygen at various hospitals added to the crisis.
From 19 April, both daily cases and the single-day death count rose sharply with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on 20 April. This went up to 306 fatalities on 22 April. On 3 May, the city registered a record 448 deaths, according to official data.
The number of cases has shown a downward trend and the positivity rate too has been shrinking in the last several days. The number of deaths per day, has been showing a decline in the last couple of days.