Delhi Govt to Provide 65,000 Hospital Beds for Expected Omicron Onslaught

India's then-Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, visits the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi to review the Covid-19 preparedness on April 16, 2021. Photo: PIB (file photo)
India’s then-Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, visits the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi to review the Covid-19 preparedness on April 16, 2021. Photo: PIB (file photo)

Kejriwal has been ignoring the issue of pollution in Delhi, as multiple research reports suggest that air pollution increases the lethality of Covid manifold.

By Rakesh Raman

The chief minister (CM) of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal announced today (November 30) that Delhi Government will be ready with almost 65,000 hospital beds, as the new Covid-19 variant Omicron is expected to hit Delhi.

In a tweeted video, Kejriwal said that nearly 17,000 ICU beds will be available by February 2022, indicating that the imminent Omicron spell will continue from now until the next year. 

He added that there are 32 types of medicines that are used during Covid hospitalization and the government has created a buffer stock of these medicines for 2 months. However, he did not reveal if the same old medicines will be effective on the new Omicron variant.

Among other measures, Kejriwal said that oxygen management for hospitalized patients will be improved and arrangements will be made for home isolation. He claimed that 93% of Delhi’s population has received the first dose and 57% the second dose of vaccine and urged people to complete their vaccination course.

Earlier, on November 28, Kejriwal had urged the prime minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi to stop flights from the regions where Omicron is spreading. But he has been ignoring the issue of pollution in Delhi, as multiple research reports suggest that air pollution increases the lethality of Covid manifold.

While Delhi continues to be the most polluted national capital in the world, a staggering number of deaths are taking place due to pollution in the city. A global environment research organization Greenpeace Southeast Asia reveals that pollution killed 54,000 people in just one year (2020) in Delhi while the city is at the top of a list of world’s five most polluted cities. 

In other words, pollution is killing nearly 150 people everyday in Delhi while hundreds of Delhi residents are falling sick. In fact, pollution is killing more people than Covid-19 in Delhi.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also runs Green Group of Delhi.

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Rakesh Raman