Maharashtra has joined the list of states that have backed Centre’s claims of no deaths during the second wave of COVID due to lack of oxygen.
“Not a single patient has died due to lack of oxygen during the peak of Covid-19 in Maharashtra. Proper management of oxygen was done, always,” Maharashtra state health minister Rajesh Tope said.
“Even at the time when about 65,000 patients were in Maharashtra, oxygen was properly arranged and provided to the patients. By the grace of God, nobody died due to lack of oxygen in the state,” he added.
The minister said that 100% of oxygen meant for industrial use was diverted for medical purposes.
“The amount of liquid medical oxygen required in Maharashtra was being manufactured in the state as well supplied by other states. There was proper oxygen management in the state”, he said.
Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Prabhuram Choudhary on Wednesday claimed that there has been no death on account of shortage of medical oxygen in the state.
The statement came a day after the Union government told the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were “specifically reported” by the states and Union Territories during the second COVID-19 wave this year.
Asked about social media posts about COVID-19 patients suffering due to lack of oxygen, he said, “It is true that there were problems with the availability of oxygen, but the state government ensured supply. Reacting to the Union government’s claim, state Congress chief Kamal Nath had said on Twitter that it was “a cruel joke on the families who lost their loved ones due to short supply of oxygen.”
Incidentally, Rajesh Tope, health minister of neighbouring Maharashtra, too said on Wednesday that there had been no deaths on account of oxygen shortage in his state.
No coronavirus patient died in Gujarat on account of shortage of medical oxygen during the second wave of the pandemic, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani claimed.
“Not a single coronavirus patient died due to lack of oxygen in Gujarat. Hospitals in the state treated over 8.5 lakh patients during the second wave. Of these, 8.5 lakh patients went home after recovering,” the chief minister told reporters in Junagadh when asked about the controversy.
“We had designated several hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.Not a single hospital reported any death due to shortage of oxygen.We had made adequate arrangements for oxygen supply. Opposition parties are misleading people with false allegations,” Rupani added.
Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said no one died of oxygen shortage in the state. “A total of 9,632 people have died of Covid-19 in Bihar so far but none of them died due to shortage of medical oxygen.”
The minister added that during the second wave, Bihar’s demand for medical oxygen saw a 14-fold increase. “But this did not result in any death,” he said.
Hitting out at Pandey, former Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav said the minister is “lying”.
“Thousands of people have died due to shortage of medical oxygen in the state in the past few months. Despite this, the health minister is lying and is trying to fool the people,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan also claimed that while the state did face shortage of medical oxygen, there were no deaths caused by it.
“During the second wave, there was a challenge in ensuring supply of medical oxygen. But there was no death that was directly attributable to shortage of oxygen. Had it been the case, all critical patients (on oxygen support) would have suffered and died. Such an incident was not reported anywhere. The government also constituted an audit committee and all Covid-19 deaths were due to medical reasons,” Radhakrishnan said.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant too claimed that no person died due to shortage of medical oxygen during the second wave of coronavirus infections in Goa.
“Goa is the only state which reported accurate Covid-19 deaths. However, there was a delay in reporting deaths from private hospitals,” the chief minister said.