Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said there have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country.
“If there was no shortage of oxygen, why did hospitals move court? Hospitals and the media had been flagging oxygen shortage issues daily. Television channels showed that how hospitals were running out of life-saving gas. It is completely false to say that no one died due to oxygen shortage. There have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were “specifically reported” by states and union territories during the second COVID-19 wave that hit the country.
Shortly after the statement by the Centre was made in a written reply by the Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar, AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal accused the minister of having “misled” the house. Describing the statement as “condemnable”, Venugopal, a Rajya Sabha MP to whose question the reply was given, said he will move a privilege motion against the minister.
“In every state and in Delhi also, we have seen how many patients died due to lack of oxygen we know. Actually, the minister misled the House.
I will move a privilege(motion) against the minister definitely because she misguided and misled the House by giving false information to the House,” Venugopal told reporters.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took a swipe at the Centre, alleging there is an acute lack of sensitivity and truth in this government. “There was not just the shortage of oxygen. There was an acute shortage of sensitivity and truth then, it was there then and is there now too,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
During the peak of the brutal second wave in April-May this year, there were media reports about the death of COVID patients including in Delhi due to alleged oxygen shortage.
In Karnataka, state officials had said on May 3 that 24 patients including 23 suffering from COVID-19 died in Chamarajanagar due to an alleged oxygen shortage in the district hospital during a 24-hour period from the previous day.