New Delhi: Two months ago, during the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, there was an acute shortage of oxygen in hospitals due to which hundreds of patients lost their lives. The pictures of long queues for oxygen and the complaints flagged by the hospitals have not been forgotten. Yet the Opposition chose to disregard the deaths due to oxygen shortage and ironically is now blaming the Centre for the same.
Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Wednesday (July 21) explained how the states made a U-turn on oxygen-related deaths during the second COVID wave and put the blame on the Centre.
The central government has informed Parliament that not a single COVID patient has died in this country due to lack of oxygen. The whole country was stunned to hear this statement. What about those pictures of the burning pyres, patients gasping for oxygen at hospitals and hospitals expressing their inability to provide treatment due to oxygen shortage?
After the Centre’s statement, the opposition leaders and intellectuals mounted an attack on the government.
The Centre said that since health is a state subject, the data of deaths due to COVID has to be given to the states and union territories and so far no state and union territory has given any such information. The Centre’s answer was quite simple that to date the no state government has accepted that anyone died due to lack of oxygen.
But despite this, the opposition leaders started saying that the central government is lying to the country.
There are a total of 28 states and 8 union territories in India. The deaths due to COVID in all these states are prepared and sent to the central government. In these reports, it is written that how many people died due to COVID and what were the reasons for these deaths. But the states did not cite oxygen shortage as the cause of death in any of the cases.
Between April 15 and May 10, the oxygen crisis in the country was at its peak and at that time there were reports from many hospitals that there was only a few hours or a few minutes of oxygen left.
Most of these hospitals were in Delhi. Some private hospitals even appealed to the Delhi High Court for this.
DataMeet, a data analyst company in India, claims that a total of 619 deaths in India were due to lack of oxygen, out of which there were 59 deaths in Delhi, 30 in Madhya Pradesh, 46 in Uttar Pradesh, 52 in Andhra Pradesh, 22 in Haryana, 4 in Jammu and Kashmir, 6 in Punjab, 37 in Tamil Nadu, 16 in Gujarat and 59 deaths in Maharashtra due to lack of oxygen.
But the Opposition is now denying that there were no deaths due to oxygen shortage. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said that not a single death occurred due to the lack of oxygen in the state. The Maharashtra government has even told the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court the same thing.
Chhattisgarh’s health minister TS Singh Deo has also said that no one died due to the lack of oxygen in his state. Whereas on April 15, it was revealed in media reports that four corona patients in the state died due to lack of oxygen.
Similarly, the governments of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have categorically denied that any patient died due to lack of oxygen.
Hence, it must be understood that when all these state governments do not admit that anyone died due to lack of oxygen, how the central government can provide any information on it.