Coronavirus Live Updates: Delhi govt inflated oxygen demand by 4 times, says SC team; AAP rejects report

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Commuters try to board on a suburban special train amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Kolkata. (Photo by Sudipta Das/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

An audit team appointed by the Supreme Court of India has reportedly found that the Delhi government exaggerated the oxygen requirement in the national capital by more than four times during the April 25-May 10 peak period of the Covid-19 second wave.

In response, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia lashed out at Bharatiya Janata Party over its allegations. Sisodia claimed that the “alleged" report does not exist.

“We spoke to members of the audit committee who say that we haven’t signed any report or approved it. Where has this report come from? I ask BJP leaders to calm down and ask themselves where is this report based on which they are levelling allegations," he added.

In a separate press conference, BJP’s Sambit Parta said, “Many lost their family members in Jaipur Golden hospital and in Batra hospital, now this report has revealed that Arvind Kejriwal is responsible for these deaths. We are sure Kejriwal will be held accountable for criminal negligence in these deaths in the SC. AAP’s focus has been only on advertising and zero management. They’ve spent 1000 crores on advertisements. They kept lying."

The oxygen audit team also informed the apex court that the supply of excess oxygen to Delhi could have affected supply to 12 states with a high caseload.

“There was a gross discrepancy (about four times). The actual oxygen consumption claimed by the Delhi government (1,140MT) was about four times higher than the calculated consumption as per the formula based on bed capacity (289 MT),” the newspaper cited the audit sub-group as saying in its report.

Further, the Petroleum and Oxygen Safety Organisation (PESO) reportedly told the SC-appointed sub-group that the “National Capital Territory of Delhi had surplus oxygen, which is affecting liquid medical oxygen (LMO) supply to other states”. It noted that the situation may lead to a national crisis, according to the news report.

A single-day rise of 51,667 COVID-19 infections took India's case tally to 3,01,34,445 while the weekly positivity rate declined to 3 per cent, according to Union Health Ministry on Friday. The death toll climbed to 3,93,310 with 1,329 more people succumbing to the viral disease in a day.

The number of active cases has further declined to 6,12,868 and now comprises 2.03 per cent of the total infections. A net decline of 14,189 active cases has been recorded in a day.

Recoveries outnumbered daily new cases of COVID-19 for the 43rd consecutive day with the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surging to 2,91,28,267. The case fatality rate stood at 1.31 per cent.

While the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 96.66 per cent, the weekly case positivity rate has come down to 3 per cent.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has sought 20 lakh more doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the Centre before July 10, officials said on Thursday.

This demand was raised by J-K Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba to review the public health response to COVID-19.

Gauba asked the states and the union territories to closely monitor the trajectory of Covid infections to prevent subsequent surges and expedite vaccination of people above 18 years of age.