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Delhi government writes to Centre seeking Army help in Covid crisis



Delhi government has sought help from the Centre to depute Armed Forces in the national capital to set up and operationalise the Covid-19 facilities.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made the appeal through a letter written on Sunday to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for lending services of the Armed Forces to set up Covid facilities here in the city with about 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds.

Mentioning that Delhi is in the midst of unprecedented Covid surge which has stretched the health infrastructure to the maximum level, Sisodia said: “I shall be grateful if your Ministry could lend the services of our Armed Forces to set-up, operationalise and run some Covid health facilities with about 10,000 oxygenated Non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds.”

“Since the entire health infrastructure machinery is overwhelmed with the management of the existing hospitals and the upcoming Covid hospitals or care centres, it will be timely help to the people of Delhi if the Ministry of Defence, with the considerable resources at its commands, is tasked with the responsibility to provide and man the additional Covid health facilities as per the current projections.”

The Deputy CM also requested the Ministry of Defence to make arrangements for supply of medical oxygen for the Covid health facility to be set up.

Sisodia sought the help noting “Indian Army has always stood at the forefront during every time of crisis, helped and protected the citizens of his great nation”.

Considering the enormous number of cases, Sisodia said, the additional health infrastructure, being set up by the Delhi government is likely to be filled up as soon as it is ready and we need at least 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds at the earliest to overcome this crisis.

The Deputy CM also informed that Delhi at present has 16,272 non-ICU oxygen beds and 4,866 ICU beds, and that the Delhi government is creating an additional 15,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,200 ICU beds which are likely to be operationalised over the next ten days.

In the letter, Sisodia further said: “The other requirement at the moment of crisis is the regular supply of medical oxygen.”

The government of India allocates medical oxygen to the various states and Delhi is grateful to the efforts of the Centre in augmenting the supply of medical oxygen, said Sisodia, adding “from the initial allocation of 378 MT per day, government of India has increased the allocation to 490 MT on April 24 and thereafter to 590 MT”.

“The additional allocation to Delhi has been made from the plants located more than 1,500 km from Delhi like Durgapur, Rourkela and Kalinga Nagar. Delhi government with necessary help from the government of India and other state governments, is augmenting the transport infrastructure by sourcing cryogenic tankers even from abroad,” Sisodia said.

“It would be an extraordinary help from our Armed Forces if the Ministry of Defence can provide cryogenic tankers for transport of Liquid Medical Oxygen”.

Sisodia also informed that the Delhi government has deployed all available medical professionals in manning the Covid hospitals and Covid care centres, and it is also in process of recruiting retired doctors and para medical teams.

Still, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said, the availability is extremely limited considering the huge demand. “The Ministry of Defence may also kindly provide medical and para medical teams to supplement the medical manpower of Delhi.”

At the end of the letter, Sisodia mentioned that the requirements may be considered on humanitarian grounds in this hour of unprecedented health crisis, noting “the operational details can be mutually worked out after receipt of in principle approval from the Defence Ministry”.

On an average, there have been 25,000 new Covid cases in Delhi every day and about 10 per cent of them require some form of hospitalisation including oxygen support.

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Amit Shah talks to 4 CMs about preparedness on cyclone Tauktae




Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a review meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Union Territory of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli to assess preparedness to deal with the cyclonic storm “Tauktae”.

He took stock of the measures and the plans by the states and UTs, as well as Central Ministries along with agencies concerned to deal with the cyclone, and the situation arising out of it.

National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that “Tauktae” (pronounced as Tau’Te) over east central Arabian Sea is likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours.

The cyclone is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) around May 18 early morning.

“Tauktae” moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 11 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centered at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday over east central Arabian Sea near latitude 15.0 degree North and longitude 72.7 degree East, about 130 km west-southwest of Panjim-Goa, 450 km south of Mumbai, 700 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 840 km southeast of Karachi (Pakistan),” the IMD said.

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Harsh Vardhan to hold video meet with 4 CMs on Covid



Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will be holding a meeting with Health Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat on Covid-19 situation and progress on vaccination drive in these states later on Saturday.

Harsh Vardhan will hold a meet with the Health Ministers of these four states through video conference at 3 p.m.

The Union Minister will review current Covid situation and progress of vaccination drive being run in their respective states to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus which so far has infected 2,43,72,907 people across the country, including 36,73,802 active cases and 2,66,207 deaths.

In a tweet, the Minister informed about his meeting on Covid-19 situation and vaccination drive in these states.

Uttar Pradesh is on top with 13,85,855 Covid cases reported so far in the state followed by Andhra Pradesh (11,75,843), Gujarat (6,09,031) and Madhya Pradesh (6,05,423).

The Health Minister will hold the meeting hours after attending a high-level virtual meeting on Covid-19 situation in the country chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the past 23 days India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh-mark and over 3,000 casualties for 17 days.

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Six-time Congress MP R.L. Bhatia passes away at 100



Six-time Congress MP and two-time Governor R.L. Bhatia passed away in Amritsar on Saturday, his family members said.

Former Minister of State for External Affairs, Bhatia was 100 years old. He represented the Amritsar parliamentary constituency six times from 1972, and was the Governor of Kerala from 2004 to 2008 and of Bihar from 2008 to 2009.

He was admitted to Fortis Hospital a day earlier after he complained of uneasiness.

Known for his impeccable image, Bhatia would have turned 101 on July 3.

MP Manish Tewari paid a visit to Bhatia at his residence in December last year to enquire about his well being along with Amritsar MP Gurjeet Aujla.

In a tweet after the meeting, Tewari wrote, “Spent some wonderful time in his company, marvelling at his memory and recollection of events, even at this age!”

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