Over a month after Delhi's darkest public health crisis during the second wave of the pandemic, the Aam Aadmi Party government has formed a panel to look into the deaths caused by shortage of oxygen at hospitals. The city government is waiting for a clearance on this panel from Lieutenant Governor Ani Baijal.
"Taking the matter with full seriousness, the government has formed a four-member committee of medical experts that will probe the deaths due to oxygen shortage at hospitals...The committee was start work as soon as the file returns with the Lieutenant Governor's approval," Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said during a televised briefing.
The panel will meet twice a week and look into each case and decide whether the death happened due to the shortage of oxygen. "If a death has been found to be due to oxygen shortage, the Delhi governments will give Rs. 5 lakh to the family of the victim as compensation," he said.
The sudden surge in coronavirus cases in the capital in April and May meant more people being hospitalized. Within no time, many hospitals, big and small, overwhelmed by thousands of fresh Covid cases, started sending out SOS messages, flagging shortage of medical oxygen.
Jaipur Golden hospital was among hospitals that lost patients due to oxygen shortage. The private hospital lost 25 patients in April; officials blamed low oxygen pressure for the deaths.
A dire shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds and essential medicines in many states were some of the key challenges in the devastating second wave. The unprecedented crisis, which crippled India's healthcare system, paved way for massive international help with many countries sending medical essentials.