Mumbai/New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said people whose relatives died due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic should “take the union government to court”.
Raut’s comments came a day after the central government said in the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and UTs during the second COVID-19 wave.
Reacting to it, Raut said, many people have died due to oxygen shortage in several states. Those whose relatives (COVID-19 patients) died due to oxygen shortage should take the Union government to court.”
“The Union government is running away from the truth. It seems it is the effect of Pegasus (Israeli spyware), the Rajya Sabha member said sarcastically while talking to reporters.
The Sena’s chief spokesperson further said it needs to be found out whether the people whose relatives died due to lack of oxygen supply believe in the Centre’s response in Parliament over the issue.
The Union government on Tuesday said in the Rajya Sabha that there was an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave and it peaked at nearly 9,000 MT compared to 3,095 MT in the first wave, following which the Centre had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution among the states.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also said there have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country.
“If there was no shortage of oxygen, why did hospitals move court? Hospitals and the media had been flagging oxygen shortage issues daily. Television channels showed that how hospitals were running out of life-saving gas. It is completely false to say that no one died due to oxygen shortage. There have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country,” he said.
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 Pravin Pawar noted that health is a state subject and states and UTs regularly report the number of cases and deaths 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 said in a written reply.
Also read: No deaths due to oxygen shortage reported by states, UTs in second wave, says Centre