Submit data on oxygen shortage deaths, Centre tells States

Submit data on oxygen shortage deaths, Centre tells States
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Highlights

After much backlash, the government faced last week over their statement 'no deaths due to oxygen shortage', the central government has now written to States and Union Territories seeking data on deaths due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of Covid-19, according to sources.

New Delhi: After much backlash, the government faced last week over their statement 'no deaths due to oxygen shortage', the central government has now written to States and Union Territories seeking data on deaths due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of Covid-19, according to sources.

The data will be collated and presented before the ongoing monsoon session ends on August 13, the source added.

"The Centre has written to States for data on deaths related to Oxygen shortage. The data is likely to be presented in Parliament before the Monsoon Session ends on August 13," sources said.

Last week on July 20, which was the second day the parliament was in session, the government stated that no deaths due to lack of oxygen had been specifically reported by states and Union Territories during the second Covid-19 wave. It was responding to a question raised on the same in the Rajya Sabha by Congress MP KC Venugopal.

In the written reply, Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar stated that health is a state subject and accordingly all states, UTs report cases and deaths to the Union Health Ministry on a regular basis.

This statement received a lot of backlash from the opposition parties with Congress warning that the party will move a privilege motion against Minister of State for Health Bharati Praveen Pawar for saying that nobody in India died due to a shortage of oxygen.

The government's reply comes in the aftermath of the devastating second Covid-19 wave that overwhelmed the country's healthcare infrastructure and resulted in thousands of deaths daily. Covid-19 cases surged dangerously from April to June and peaked in May with over 4-lakh cases and 4,000 deaths.

Hospitals across the country reported severe oxygen shortages for several days and private hospitals in the national capital approached the High Court demanding a steady supply. Several hospital administrations in different states have alleged that the shortage of oxygen resulted in the death of several patients.

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