The Delhi government exaggerated the city’s oxygen requirement by four times at the peak of the Covid crisis, a Supreme Court panel has said in a report.
“The Delhi government’s claim of 1,140 Metric Tonnes was four times the calculated consumption as per bed formula, which was 289 MT only,” says an interim report of the oxygen audit panel appointed by the Supreme Court.
The panel, led by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, includes Delhi Government Principal Home Secretary Bhupinder Bhalla, Max Healthcare Director Sandeep Buddhiraja and Union Jal Shakti Ministry Joint Secretary Subodh Yadav.
The average consumption of oxygen in Delhi was between 284 to 372 MT. “The excess supply of oxygen affected other states in need of oxygen,” the panel says.
Four Delhi hospitals have been called out for claiming high consumption of oxygen with fewer beds. The Singhal Hospital, Aruna Asif Ali Hospital, ESIC Model Hospital and Liferay Hospital had few beds and their data was wrong; this led to exaggerated claims of oxygen needs in Delhi, the report says.
The panel noted discrepancies in the data given by Delhi hospitals.
The Delhi government’s data said from April 29 to May 10, the consumption of oxygen did not exceed 350 MT.
The Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to supply 700 MT daily to Delhi though the Centre had argued that it was an inflated claim.
In April-May, as a lethal second wave of Covid swept through the country, several hospitals in Delhi sent out SOS for oxygen on social media and some even went to court.
The Supreme Court will take up the case on May 30.