No deaths due to lack of oxygen reported by states: Centre | India News

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday told Parliament that there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen specifically reported by states and UTs during the second wave of Covid-19.
The response drew strong reactions, particularly on social media, given the crisis of medical oxygen during the second wave. But health minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted that the data was based on reports from the states and UTs. He also said, during a discussion on the pandemic in the Rajya Sabha, that the states had been urged to report all cases and deaths.
The demand for oxygen peaked at nearly 9,000 MT compared to 3,095 MT in the first wave following which the Centre had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution among the states, it said.
“Detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths have been issued by the Union health ministry to all states/UTs. Accordingly, all states/UTs report cases and deaths to the Union health ministry on a regular basis. However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by states/UTs,” Bharti Pravin Paawar, junior minister for health told the Rajya Sabha.
The minister was responding to a question on whether a large number of Covid-19 patients died on roads and hospitals due to acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave.
The Centre has supported the states and it undertook a series of actions, including provisioning medical oxygen and other consumables, to ensure clinical care of patients in view of the steep rise of Covid-19 trajectory in the country during April-May, she said.
On the total demand of oxygen by the states and the total supply, the ministry said the supply of medical oxygen to hospitals is determined by contractual arrangements between the hospital and the medical oxygen supplier concerned.
“However, due to an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave — the demand in the country peaked to nearly 9,000 MT as compared to 3,095 MT during the first wave — the central government had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution to the states,” she said.
The active caseload of the state and UT was the primary determinant of oxygen allocation. Other factors such as case doubling rate, available medical infrastructure, etc were also given due consideration.

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