15:40 GMT21 June 2021
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    The current wave of COVID-19 has hit Delhi hard, with the city's healthcare system crumbling under the strain of the sudden and huge load as hospital beds filled up and the capital ran out of oxygen. The present rush to increase beds, especially ICU beds, is in fear of a third wave of coronavirus hitting the city.

    Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal has said that there will no longer be a shortage of intensive care unit (ICU) beds or oxygen beds in Delhi. 

    On Monday, 500 hospital beds were added to the city's Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. The government has in the past fortnight or so added 1,200 additional beds in various hospitals - 500 have been added at the Lok Nayak Hospital and another 200 at the Radha Soami Beas campus in south Delhi. 

    Delhi reported about 12,000 new cases and 319 deaths in the past 24 hours. Nearly 20,000 people have lost their lives in the city since the onset of the pandemic. Kejriwal's government has imposed a strict lockdown in the capital, suspending state-run metro train services, which has now been extended to 17 May. 

    Cases of new infections dropped from 25,000 in the last week of April to below 13,000 on Monday. The positivity rate has also dropped from over 36% to 17%.

    Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain made an appeal during a press conference on Tuesday calling on people to stay vigilant and follow the rules strictly until active cases fall below 3,000. 

    Delhi Chief Urges PM Modi to Share Vaccine Formula to Boost Production

    Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealing to him to share COVID-19 vaccine formulas and allow more companies to manufacture doses. 

    There is an acute shortage of vaccines in India as the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the only two companies manufacturing them in the country, are struggling to match demand. At present, there are two vaccines available in India - Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech. A third, Sputnik V, which has been cleared but not yet rolled out, will be manufactured by five companies.

    "Only two companies are producing vaccines. They produce only 60 million to 70 million a month. This way, it will take over two years to vaccinate everyone. Many waves will come by then. It is important to increase vaccine production and frame a national plan", said Arvind Kejriwal.

    "Several companies should be deployed to produce vaccines. The centre should collect the formula from these two and give it to others so they can produce vaccines safely", he added.

    "We aim to vaccinate all residents within three months but we are facing shortages", wrote the Delhi Chief. 

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    Tags:
    New Delhi, COVID-19, India, Arvind Kejriwal
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