No deaths due to oxygen shortage during 2nd COVID-19 wave: Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh back Centre

New Delhi: Amid Centre denying deaths caused due to lack of oxygen during COVID-19 second wave, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu as well as Chhattisgarh backed government’s statement and claimed they did not see any deaths due to shortage of the life-saving gas. 

Tamil Nadu Health Minister M. Subramaniam said that when the state faced shortage of oxygen, they informed the Center and arranged the same. 

“There are no deaths due to oxygen shortage in Tamil Nadu. CM has worked on a war footing to prevent this. When we faced lack of oxygen, we came in touch with the Centre at once and procured oxygen from them. So we didn’t face big effects here,” Subramaniam was quoted as saying by ANI. 

Madhya Pradesh, a BJP-ruled state, has also refuted that people died during the deadly second wave due to lack of oxygen. Amplifying the Centre’s stance, MP Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang told the news agency, “No deaths took place due to lack of oxygen in our State. Union Health Min stated the same in Rajya Sabha. Even in Tamil Nadu, the health minister voiced the same opinion.” 

Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh government has also claimed that it did not witness any deaths due to dearth of oxygen in the state. State Health Minister TS Singh Deo on Tuesday (July 20) termed Chhattisgarh an “oxygen-surplus state”. 

Deo said, “It is true that no patient died due to the lack of oxygen in Chhattisgarh. Our state is an oxygen-surplus state. There could have been some issues regarding management, otherwise, there is no death due to lack of oxygen.”He further accused the Centre of taking credit for all goods things and blaming the states for all bad things.”

On Tuesday, the Centre had informed the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states/Union territories during the second wave of COVID-19. Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar pointed out that health is a state subject and accordingly all states/UTs report cases and deaths to the Union Health Ministry on a regular basis.

The Centre has received a lot of flak from opposition and on social media regarding the remark in the Parliament. Congress has decided to move a privilege motion against Pawar for the statement. The Delhi government has also slammed the Centre for its response in Rajya Sabha. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said many people died due to the oxygen shortage during the second wave of the pandemic.

(With agency inputs)

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