The Union Health Minister on Tuesday said that the states have not provided any data on Covid-19 deaths due to shortage of oxygen in hospitals. These deaths were in headlines during the peak of second wave and had drawn heavy criticism from the opposition.
As health is a state subject hence, the states and UTs have to report number of cases and deaths to the Centre, said Junior Health Minister Bharati Praveen Pawar in Rajya Sabha.
“However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by states and UTs,” said Mr Pawar when asked about whether patients died on roads or in hospitals.
At a government run medical facility in Goa more than 80 patients had died in five days in May. In Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, 11 patients had died due to disruption in oxygen supply. Also there were many incidents of fire, mock drills, and disruptions in oxygen in hospitals during the second wave due to which many patients have lost their lives.
Meanwhile, at many places the authorities have denied that the deaths occurred due to shortage of oxygen.
Previous month, Delhi government had ordered a probe in deaths due to shortage of oxygen supply which the Centre had turned down.
In a hospital in Delhi, 21 patients had died due to lack of oxygen supply and the case is still pending the High Court.
“This is a blind and unconcerned government. People have seen how many of their near and dear ones have died because of lack of oxygen,” KC Venugopal said.
He also said that he would move a privilege motion against the government “for giving false information”.
While, in Lok Sabha on Tuesday the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya defended Centre on the issue of high deaths of Covid patients in second wave by saying that it is state governments who have to be blamed because they are in the charge to provide information on number of cases and deaths to the Centre.
“Whom are you blaming? You are blaming the Indian government, you are blaming Modi Ji. Who does the registration? The states do. Who decides the count? The states do. They have to do the registration, they have to put in the numbers. Here, no one has asked them to stop. Modi Ji said that if there is a backlog put that as well. There is no reason to hide it,” said Mr Mandaviya.