Those in need of oxygen supply for patients in home isolation will soon be able to apply on the Delhi government’s website www.delhi.gov.in with a valid photo ID, Aadhaar card details, and a Covid positive report.
In an order issued on Wednesday by Delhi government’s principal secretary (revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar, the process was to start from Thursday, and the link to “Online booking for refilling of oxygen cylinder-Delhi government-corona relief” was made available on the government’s portal.
The link was yet to be made operational, and is expected to function in the coming days. Officials aware of the matter said the government decided to start the online booking of oxygen cylinders for people in home isolation in view of the long queues outside oxygen plants.
There were also complaints from residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and people who had patients at home about difficulties being faced by them in arranging oxygen cylinders. There are 50,562 Covid-positive patients in home isolation in Delhi, according to Thursday’s government bulletin.
The government ordered the district magistrates to process the online applications and direct people to authorised dealers from where people can get or exchange an oxygen cylinder.
“District magistrates have been directed to streamline the process. People will apply online, and they will be informed about the dealer from where they can collect the oxygen cylinder,” a second official said.
Another senior Delhi government official said the link could not be made operational from Thursday because of some pending preliminary work to link the dealers with refillers.
“The district administrations have started the work to streamline the process. Some districts are identifying areas close to dealers from where people can collect the oxygen cylinders. The details are being worked out. The date from which the process will start will be notified soon,” the official said.
Once the online process starts, people can book for a refill or a new oxygen cylinder by uploading the patient details on the link provided on the Delhi government’s website.
All district magistrates have been directed to depute officials to process applications and e-passes to people who want oxygen cylinders.
“This may be accorded top priority….The DMs shall identify dedicated dealers/deports to distribute such cylinders to individuals who shall not be redirected to refilling plants under any circumstances,” read the order issued by Khirwar.
The DMs will issue passes to people depending on the availability of cylinders with dealers. The passes will contain the date, time and address of the depot or dealer from which oxygen cylinders can be issued or exchanged. “Before issuing the pass, the DM must ensure that a filled oxygen cylinder is available as per the pass issued,” read the order.
On Thursday, people complained about not being able to apply online. SB Singh, president of Lajpat Nagar-3 RWA, said, “It is a good move to streamline the process but the web link to place the request for booking a refill is not working. We tried doing it the entire day. The government should immediately start the process.”
Currently, people have to go to the oxygen refilling plants authorised by the Delhi government in areas such as Mohan cooperative area, Mayapuri, Bawana, etc. “This process will continue for the time being,” said the official.
Satyajit Vaish, President of Manav Vikas Society and a resident of Panchsheel Park who has been helping people in home isolation arrange oxygen cylinders, said, “The government should advertise it before starting it. We had to rely on our sources outside Delhi. The system needs to be streamlined.”
Amid a raging fourth wave of the cases in the past 15 days, Delhi has been hit by an unprecedented medical oxygen crisis. Most people have been managing their individual demands through crowd sourcing on social media, or by word of mouth.