Government must examine oxygen stricken COVID deaths in second wave, says parliamentary panel

There were several instances of families of patients pleading for oxygen and waiting in queues for oxygen cylinders. Media relayed stories of hospitals running out of oxygen and making desperate appeals when hospitals were reportedly left with only few hours of oxygen supply

Asian News International September 13, 2022 08:08:47 IST
Government must examine oxygen stricken COVID deaths in second wave, says parliamentary panel

Parliament of India. ANI

New Delhi: The parliamentary standing committee on Health and Family Welfare has in a report recommended that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare examine the Covid deaths due to shortage of Oxygen and ensure compensation to the families of the victims.

“The Committee is disappointed at this utter ignorance by the Government and strongly recommends the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to examine the number of deaths due to oxygen shortage especially during the second wave of Covid,” the panel headed SP member Ram Gopal Yadav said in its report.

“The Ministry, in coordination with the States, must audit the deaths due to oxygen shortage and enable robust documentation of the covid deaths that will in fact generate the responsive and responsible sense of government and cautious formulation of policy and combat situational health care emergency,” reads the committee report.

The Committee said it expects more transparency and more accountability from the Government agencies. The Ministry must meticulously examine the oxygen stricken Covid deaths and ensure that proper compensation is accorded to the families of the victims, it said.

“There were several instances of families of patients pleading for oxygen and waiting in queues for oxygen cylinders. Media relayed stories of hospitals running out of oxygen and making desperate appeals when hospitals were reportedly left with only few hours of oxygen supply. In April, 2021, the Delhi High court slammed the Delhi Government for alleged mismanagement in distribution of medical oxygen. The High Court in May, 2021 also asked the Central Government to divert the unutilized tankers of oxygen to Delhi from States where the Covid-19 situation was improving.”

Earlier, the Union Health Ministry requested States/UTs over confirmed death due to oxygen shortage during second wave the response was no deaths from 20 states/UTs.Now, the committee in its observation has said that the ministry should coordinate with the states and must audit the deaths due to oxygen shortage.

“The Ministry, in coordination with the States, must audit the deaths due to oxygen shortage and enable robust documentation of the covid deaths that will infact generate the responsive and responsible sense of government and cautious formulation of policy and combat situational health care emergency,” said the panel in its report.

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