The federal government of India has requested the states and Union Territories to supply information on deaths associated to oxygen scarcity throughout the second Covid wave earlier this 12 months. The data will likely be collated and introduced in Parliament earlier than the monsoon session ends on August 13, sources have mentioned.
A surge in infections throughout India earlier this 12 months put immense stress on the nation’s well being infrastructure. Important provides corresponding to these of hospital beds, medicine, and vaccines fell woefully brief.
Amongst these, essentially the most devastating was the scarcity of medical oxygen. Such was the shortfall that India needed to import the very important gasoline from a number of international locations on an emergency foundation. A number of folks died breathless.
In Goa, over 80 folks died at a state-run medical facility over 5 days in Might. In Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, 11 Covid sufferers admitted to the ICU of a hospital misplaced their lives after provide was disrupted. At a Hyderabad facility, seven succumbed at a authorities hospital throughout a two-hour minimize in provide.
A number of states went to court docket over oxygen sharing, whereas the federal government flagged off Oxygen Specific trains to make sure provides.
Final month the Centre even vetoed an investigation ordered by the Delhi authorities into the deaths brought on by an absence of oxygen provide. At one hospital in Delhi, 21 sufferers died resulting from oxygen scarcity and the matter is pending within the Excessive Court docket.
Nonetheless, regardless of all these headline-making occasions, the Centre informed Parliament earlier this month that “no deaths resulting from lack of oxygen have been particularly reported by states and Union Territories”. It mentioned the states had not supplied any information on this entrance.
Well being is a state topic and states and Union Territories frequently report numbers to the Centre, which solely collates them and presents them earlier than the nation, Bharati Praveen Pawar, the Minister of State for Well being, informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
“It is a blind and unconcerned authorities. Individuals have seen what number of of their close to and pricey ones have died due to lack of oxygen,” Congress chief KC Venugopal had mentioned in response.