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‘No deaths due to oxygen shortage’ claim continues; Centre gets data from 14 states so far

In a response to Union Health Ministry’s letter seeking data on deaths due to lack of oxygen, only 14 states have responded so far.

States that have responded are — Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Sikkim, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Ladakh, J&K, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.

Of these states, 13 have denied deaths due to lack of oxygen during the seocnd wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Only Punjab has reported four deaths due to oxygen shortage.

The states are supposed to respond to the ministry’s letter by August 13. The ministry is expecting to get the rest of the data’s from the remaining states in next two to three days.

The Central government recently asked states and Union territories to submit data on deaths due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of COVID-19, according to government sources.

This data is likely to be presented in the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament, they added.

This came after the Centre came under sharp criticism over its claim that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and Union Territories during the second COVID-19 wave.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar told the Rajya Sabha that health is a state subject and accordingly all states, UTs report cases and deaths to the Union Health Ministry on a regular basis.

India witnessed deadly second wave of coronavirus during which several hospitals across the country reported severe oxygen shortages.

 

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