States gave no data on COVID deaths due to shortage of oxygen

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Oxygen Cylinder (Image: Pixabay)
Oxygen Cylinder (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that no deaths have been reported by the states to Centre due to lack of oxygen, which was among the most lauded problem during the second wave of coronavirus.

Health is a state subject; states and UTs report the number of cases and deaths to the Centre on regular basis, junior health minister Bharati Praveen Pawar had said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

"However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by states and UTs," added Ms Pawar, responding to the question on whether Covid patients died on roads and hospitals due to oxygen shortage.

In most places, the authorities have denied death of patients due to lack of oxygen.

In Delhi, it was reported that 21 people had lost their lives due to late supply of oxygen. However, the matter is still pending in the 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," said KC Venugopal.

While Congress slammed the Centre, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya defended the government and said it is wrong to blame as the states had free hand to report deaths.

"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," he said.