Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia — who handles the state’s health portfolio – today, seeking a response on deaths that occurred due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of Covid earlier this year. Multiple deaths have taken place due to oxygen crisis in Delhi, which was hit worst by the second wave.
Mr Sisodia had earlier said the Delhi government has not received any letter from the Centre inquiring about deaths in the national capital due to oxygen shortage.
“Here is the copy of the mail sent by my ministry to the Delhi government on 26th July. It’s not too late yet! You can send the data till 13th August so that we can answer the question to Parliament. Please review with your officers and send the necessary data as soon as possible,” his tweet read.
The Union health ministry has been asked the details of deaths that took place due to paucity of medicines and medical equipment like oxygen cylinders in hospitals in April and May.
The government has to respond before the monsoon session ends on August 13.
The minister included a copy of the question asked, which not only seeks the number of such deaths but also whether any inquiry was ordered into such deaths and action taken against people accused of hoarding medicine and oxygen in this crucial period.
Earlier, the Union health ministry had told parliament that the states have not provided any information on deaths of Covid patients in hospitals due to lack of oxygen drawing sharp criticism from the opposition.
The issue of oxygen deaths is also pending in various courts, including the Supreme Court.
The Delhi Police has told a court that the deaths of 21 coronavirus patients in the national capital’s Jaipur Golden Hospital were not due to oxygen shortage. The infuriated families have accused the Centre of lying.