Leading to Twitter, Gandhi shared a video on the “truth of oxygen shortage” saying that “the Indian government does not protect the right to life and health in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In addition, it featured photographs of people waiting in long lines to refill oxygen cylinders and an article about a Goa hospital where 75 people allegedly died due to a lack of oxygen supply.
The Center, while responding to a question from congressional deputy KC Venugopal, had told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that states and states had not specifically reported deaths from lack of oxygen. Union Territories during the second COVID-19 wave.
In the written reply, the Minister of Express for health, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar stated that health is a state issue and consequently all states, UT report cases and deaths to the Union Ministry of Health on a regular basis.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, defended the statement saying that the Center only collects data on COVID-19 deaths, it does not generate it.
“Health is a state issue and no state or union territory sent data on deaths, specifically due to oxygen shortages,” BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said on Wednesday.
Several opposition leaders have widely criticized the Center for the statement. Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said the government was lying. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain called the statement “completely false” and asked why hospitals were going to High Court for shortages if there were no deaths from lack of oxygen.
The Telugu Desam Party and Congress also refuted the Center’s claim, saying that at least 30 people had died in Andhra Pradesh due to the shortage.
The government response comes in the wake of the devastating second wave of Covid-19 that overwhelmed the country’s healthcare infrastructure and led to thousands of deaths daily. Covid-19 cases rose dangerously from April to June and peaked in May with more than 4 lakh of cases and 4,000 deaths.
Hospitals across the country reported a severe oxygen shortage for several days and private hospitals in the national capital approached the High Court to demand a steady supply. Various hospital administrations in different states have alleged that the oxygen shortage resulted in the death of several patients.