However, there was an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave and it peaked at nearly 9000 MT, it said
The Centre on Tuesday told the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and UTs during the second Covid-19 wave, triggering outrage from opposition parties.
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, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pawar said that health is a state subject and states and UTs regularly report the number of cases and deaths to the Centre.
“However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen has been specifically reported by states/UTs,” Pawar said in response to a question by Congress member K C Venugopal.
She said there was an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave and it peaked at nearly 9,000 MT per day compared to 3,095 MT in the first wave.
Venugopal claimed that the health minister had misguided and misled the House by saying not a single person died due to shortage of oxygen in the country.
“I will move a privilege motion against the minister,” he said.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the minister did not say there were “no deaths”, but “no reports of deaths”.
“A blind and deaf government will not be able to see” or hear the truth,” Chidambaram said.