After the Narendra Modi government informed Parliament that no Covid-19 deaths were specifically reported due to a lack of oxygen, a massive war of words erupted between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Opposition.
Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar stated in a written response that states and union territories had not specifically reported deaths due to a lack of oxygen during the second wave of Coronavirus.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya blamed the states further, saying that the Prime Minister had repeatedly told the states that deaths had to be registered and that there was no reason to hide them.
“According to the Prime Minister, it is the responsibility of the states.” We keep a record of the information provided by the states. That is all the central government needs to do,” Mansukh Mandaviya stated.
The remarks sparked outrage in the opposition, with many leaders accusing the government of lying in Parliament.
Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, stated that the Centre must accept responsibility for its mismanagement of oxygen rather than lying to cover up its mistakes.
“When the country was fighting a brutal second wave of Covid-19, the Centre’s foolish policies pushed the country into a full-fledged oxygen crisis. “Why is Prime Minister Modi lying?” he asked, adding that “between April 15 and May 10, there was utter oxygen mismanagement by the Centre, resulting in chaos in hospitals.” After April 13, it changed its oxygen distribution policy, which resulted in a total disaster.”
According to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, the deaths occurred because the government failed to arrange tankers to transport oxygen and ignored the advice of an empowered group and a parliamentary committee. There was no plan in place to provide oxygen.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the minister’s comments left him speechless.
“What would have happened if the families of those who died as a result of an oxygen shortage had heard this statement? A legal action should be taken against the government. They’re telling the truth “the Shiv Sena chief stated
The BJP fires back at the opposition.
In response to the Opposition’s jabs, the BJP clarified that the Centre had stated unequivocally that health is a state and union territory subject. It also stated that the Centre did not collect any data and instead relied on data collected by states and UTs.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra slammed Sena MP Sanjay Raut, saying it is shocking that the Sena is engaging in politics and lying.
Patra claimed that an affidavit submitted by the Maharashtra government to the Bombay High Court stated that no deaths were reported due to a lack of oxygen in the state.
On May 19, the Maharashtra government informed the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court that no patient had died due to a lack of oxygen in the state.
Responding to Congress Rahul Gandhi, who took to Twitter earlier in the day to say that, in addition to a lack of oxygen, there was also a severe lack of sensitivity and truth, the BJP said the Wayanad MP worked like a “Twitter troll.”
Instances of death due to a lack of oxygen in the second wave
In Haryana, 19 Covid patients died as a result of an oxygen shortage in April and May.
Over 80 people die in a five-day period at a state-run medical facility in Goa in May 2021.
May 2021: As many as 24 patients die in the Karnataka district of Chamarajanagar due to low oxygen levels.
In May 2021, at least 23 Covid patients died as a result of an oxygen supply problem in the ICU at the government-run Ruia hospital in Andhra Pradesh.
In May 2021, at least 12 Covid patients die as a result of a lack of oxygen at Delhi’s Batra Hospital.