The Central government told the Rajya Sabha on 20 July that it had not received any report of COVID-19 patients dying because of shortage of oxygen and lack of medical facilities during the second wave of the pandemic from any state or Union Territory across the nation.
The Congress and other opposition parties said the Centre have presented "false information" that there were no casualties due to the lack of oxygen during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Centre's statement aimed to calm down the widespread anguish over lack of oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
To which, it had the opposite effect as it brought back to mind the depressing images of covid patients gasping for breath in ambulances, hospital corridors and cars.
The statement was the response to Congressman K.C. Venugopal and M.V. Shreyams Kumar of the Loktantrik Janata Dal questions.
Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union health minister says in Rajya Sabha, “Detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths have been issued by Union health ministry to all states/UTs. Accordingly, all states/UTs report cases and deaths to Union health ministry on a regular basis."
Mandaviya further added," However, states have at times reported backlog deaths in case of late reporting from hospitals and districts but no such reports of patients dying due to shortage of oxygen and lack of hospital facilities in the country have been received by the ministry from any State/UT.’’
The Union health minister was somewhere correct as the statesor union territories were never asked by the Union health ministry to compile data on oxygen deaths.
The state and union territory governments were only asked for tabulation of Covid-19 casualties and do not register the deaths as cardiac or nephrology case if the deceased person had tested positive for noble coronavirus.