Data from 12 states indicate there were no deaths from lack of medical oxygen in the second wave of Covid, health ministry sources said Wednesday afternoon, a week after the center asked states and UTs for information on the subject. to collect and submit.
Thirteen states have submitted this data so far, sources said, adding that only Punjab had marked deaths — four of them — as “suspicious”.
The 12 who have claimed zero deaths due to a lack of medical oxygen – during the weeks when individuals and hospitals made desperate calls on social media and in courtrooms – are Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Assam, Sikkim, Tripura, Jharkhand , Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, as well as the UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Last week, the government asked all states and UTs to provide data it said would be collected and presented before Parliament’s monsoon session — which was repeatedly postponed due to various issues, including the claim of “no deaths from lack of oxygen.” , ends on August 13.
Last month, a huge row erupted after junior health minister Bharati Praveen Pawar told the Rajya Sabha that “no deaths from anoxia were reported” during the second wave of COVID-19.
In the Lok Sabha, the new Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya defended the government and pointed out that since health is a state subject, states and UTs should provide this data.
Regardless, the statement sparked howls of protest as the opposition pointed to social media calls and cases filed by hospitals frantically seeking help for oxygen-supported patients.
“It is completely incorrect to say that no one has died as a result of the oxygen crisis. Why did hospitals desperately appeal to the Supreme Court every day?” Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain lashed out.
In Goa, more than 80 people died in a state-run medical facility over five days in May.
In Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, 11 Covid patients died in a hospital ICU after supplies were interrupted. At a government hospital in Hyderabad, seven died after a two-hour supply disruption.
In Delhi, a doctor was one of 12 who died in a private hospital after oxygen supplies ran out. At another hospital, 25 deaths were reported.
Gaurav Gera, 23, whose parents died of Covid at a hospital in Delhi, told NewsMadura: “It hurt us to hear the statements from the government… My father was fine. When we got a call about his death, the doctor told us about oxygen deprivation.”
“This is a blind and carefree government. People have seen how many of their loved ones have died from lack of oxygen,” Congress leader KC Venugopal had said.
The spate of severe symptomatic cases during the second wave of COVID-19 earlier this year — cases requiring hospitalization and oxygen — put enormous strain on an already creaky health infrastructure, and hospitals were short of critical medical supplies, including oxygen.
The shortage was severe enough to force the government to import oxygen, rush to set up new oxygen production facilities, and turn to other countries for help setting up emergency facilities.
Throughout the crisis, the government maintained that the shortage was a transportation problem, not a supply problem; the challenge, he claimed, was moving oxygen from where it was produced to where it was needed.