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No Deaths Due To Lack Of Oxygen During Second COVID Wave, Says Centre

New Delhi: The government informed the Upper House of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha, that no deaths were reported specifically due to lack of oxygen by states and UTs during the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Replying to a query on whether a large number of COVID patients died on roads and hospitals because of acute shortage of oxygen, Minister of State for Health Bharati Praveen Pawar noted that health is a state subject and states and Union Territories regularly report the number of cases and fatalities to the Centre.

“Detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths have been issued by the Union Health Ministry to all states and UTs.

“Accordingly, all states and 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 and UTs,” Pawar was quoted as saying in a written reply by news agency PTI.

“However, due to unprecedented surge in demand of 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.

“A dynamic and transparent framework for allocation of medical oxygen in consultation with states and UTs and all the stakeholders such as relevant ministries, manufacturers/ suppliers of liquid oxygen, etc. was prepared,” the written reply was quoted by the news agency.

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