The central government on Tuesday wrote to the states and sought data on the number of deaths that took place due to lack of oxygen during the second Covid-19 wave. The data will be collated and presented in Parliament before the monsoon session ends on August 13, sources said.
“We have been getting repeated questions on oxygen deaths in the parliament ” a govt official told CNN-News18.
Last week, responding to a question on the acute shortage of oxygen during the second wave of the pandemic, the Health Ministry had said in Rajya Sabha that “no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by States and Union Territories.”
Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar in response to the question said that oxygen supply to hospitals is determined by contractual arrangements between the hospitals and the medical oxygen supplier. “Health is a state subject. However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by states and Union Territories,” she had said.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had then said that there have been several deaths because of oxygen shortage in Delhi and other places across the country.
The second wave had seen several private hospitals across the country, especially the national capital, take to twitter with SOS messages pointing out acute shortage of oxygen and demanding urgent help.