Defence Minister Rajnath Singh mulls Army deployment in Delhi to tackle Covid crisis

DY365
DY365
Published: May 3,2021 06:25 PM
DY365

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is contemplating deployment of Army in Delhi to tackle the ongoing Covid crisis, according to reports.

May 3, 2021: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is contemplating deployment of Army in Delhi to tackle the ongoing Covid crisis, according to reports.



Centre on Monday confirmed to HC that the Chief of Defence Staff, Bipin Rawat, has confirmed that the matter is being looked into by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.



A petition was filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions for handing over the management of oxygen in the national capital to the Army to ensure uninterrupted supply to Covid-19 hospitals and facilities.



"The issue of oxygen supply and distribution needs to be handed over to the Armed forces. Nobody else is able to handle it. It is just not happening," an advocate told the Delhi High Court.



The Delhi High Court was hearing issues regarding the supply of oxygen in Delhi hospitals. Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, told the court that deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had already written to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for the assistance of the Army to handle the Covid-19 situation.



A hospital in Dwarka told the Delhi High Court that its owners cannot manage the crisis from Saudi Arabia and the hospital was ready to hand over its keys to the district magistrate.



"Our owners are from Saudi Arabia, so they’re not able to manage things from there. But we are ready to hand over our keys to the District Magistrate. We have 77 beds, ventilators, everything. It can be taken over by the government," said the counsel of Rockland Hospital.



For two weeks now, hospitals in Delhi have continued to grapple with oxygen shortage due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. The Centre on Saturday raised the national capital's daily quota of oxygen to 590 metric tonnes from 490 MT. However, the Delhi government has been demanding 976 metric tonnes of oxygen from the Centre.



On Saturday, 12 Covid-19 patients, including a senior doctor, died at south Delhi's Batra Hospital after the facility ran out of medical oxygen. The incident comes days after 20 patients died at Jaipur Golden Hospital and 25 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital due to an oxygen crisis in the national capital.