New Delhi: The Central Government on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that no State/UT specified any death due to lack of oxygen during the the second wave of COVID-19.
Minister of State for Health, Bharati Pravin Pawar in a written reply to a question by Congress MP KC Venugopal on whether a large number of COVID-19 patients died on roads and hospitals due to acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave, said that the Government of India has supported the States and undertook a series of actions including provisioning medical oxygen.
Pointing out that health is a state subject, the minister in her wriiten response stated that detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths have been issued by Union Health Ministry to all states/UTs and accordingly, all states/UTs report cases and deaths to Union Health Ministry on a regular basis. However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen has been specifically reported by states/UTs.
She further highlights that the medical oxygen demand in the country during the second wave peaked to nearly 9000 Metric Tonnes (MT) as compared to 3095 MT during the first wave.
News agency ANI quoted her response which read, “The supply of medical oxygen to hospitals is determined by contractual arrangements between the concerned hospital and the medical oxygen supplier. However, due to unprecedented surge in demand of medical oxygen during the second wave – the demand in the country peaked to nearly 9000 MT as compared to 3095 MT during the first wave – the Central Government had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution to the States.”