A day after the Centre's comment that no COVID-19 deaths have been reported by the states and UTs due to lack of oxygen, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday slammed the government and said the statement is "completely false".
Speaking to media about COVID cases, Mr Jain said, "They (Centre) will soon say there was no COVID-19. If there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen, then why were hospitals going to High Court for shortages? This is completely false."
"We had formed an audit committee for oxygen to provide compensation to victims, which was stopped by the Centre through Lieutenant Governor. The Centre is rubbing salt on wounds. We will appeal to the Lieutenant Governor to allow us to run the committee," he added.
In a written reply to Congress MP KC Venugopal on whether a large number of COVID-19 patients died on roads and hospitals due to acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave, Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar had 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.
She also stated that the Government of India has supported the states and undertook a series of actions including provisioning medical oxygen. Dr Pawar also highlighted that the medical oxygen demand in the country during the second wave peaked at nearly 9,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) as compared to 3,095 MT during the first wave.
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