New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday extended the corona-induced Lockdown till May 3, next Monday. As the numbers surge, there are reports that hospitals in Delhi are turning away patients. The shortage of medical oxygen and beds have only added to the crisis. At the national level, the number of cases has shot up to 349,691 in the past 24 hours. This was the fourth straight day of record peaks. Delhi has so far reported 13,541 deaths due to Covid19 with the total number of cases rising up to 981,000 and recovered cases standing at 875,000. The Union Health Ministry said, five states — Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Kerala — contribute 54 per cent of the cases. International cooperation and extension of help is also coming in. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the United States was working around the clock to deploy supplies to help India tide over the crisis. "The US is deeply concerned by the severe Covid outbreak in India. We are working around the clock to deploy more supplies and support to our friends and partners in India as they bravely battle this Pandemic," he tweeted. Meanwhile, in his monthly radio broadcast, Mann-Ki-Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid importance on the vaccination process to deal with the crisis. "....it is my appeal that doesn’t get swayed by any rumour about the vaccine. You all must be knowing that people above 45 years of age can benefit from the free vaccine that has been sent to all state governments by the government of India," he said. The Prime Minister also said, from May 1, the vaccines are to be made available for every person above 18 years in the country. "Now the Corporate Sector, companies too will be able to participate in the programme of administering vaccines to their employees. I also want to say that the programme of free vaccines by the government of India that is going on now will continue further too," he said. Modi "appealed" to the states to extend the benefit of this free vaccine campaign of the government of India to a maximum number of the people of their state. "Friends, we all know how difficult mentally it is to take care of ourselves, our family during disease. But our nursing staff in hospitals has to do this very job continuously, with so many patients at the same time. This sense of service is a great strength of our society," he said. In line with the Prime Minister’s direction of boosting the availability of oxygen to hospitals, the PM CARES Fund has given in-principle approval for the allocation of funds for the installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country. Mr Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. He said that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level. These dedicated plants will be established in identified Government hospitals in district headquarters in various States/UTs.
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