Home / News / India /  No deaths due to lack of oxygen reported specifically by states, UTs during 2nd Covid wave: Centre

The Centre on Tuesday informed that the states and UTs have not reported any deaths due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of Covid. It, however, said that there was an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave and it peaked at nearly 9000 MT compared to 3095 MT in the first wave. The information was shared by Minister of State for Health Bharati Praveen Pawar in Rajya Sabha.

Responding to a question on whether a large number of Covid patients died due to acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave, the minister said 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.

The minister added that the Centre supported the states and undertook a series of actions including provisioning medical oxygen, and other consumables to ensure clinical care of Covid patients in view of the steep rise of infection trajectory in the country during April- May 2021.

During the second week, several states had reported shortage of oxygen due to rise in cases. On a question of total demand by the states and total supplied, the central government said that the supply of medical oxygen to hospitals is determined by contractual arrangements between the hospital and the medical oxygen supplier concerned.

"However, due to unprecedented surge in demand of medical oxygen during the second wave – the demand in the country peaked to nearly 9000 MT as compared to 3095 MT during the first wave – the central government had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution to the states," the minister said.

She further said that the active caseload of the state and UT was the primary determinant of oxygen allocation. Other factors such as case doubling rate, available medical infrastructure, etc. were also given due consideration. The allocation was kept dynamic as per the changing pandemic load.

The minister informed that the first allocation order was issued on 15th April and revised from time to time, based on the trends of active cases and supply position. A total allocation of 10,250 MT had been done to 26 high burden states as on May 28, 2021.

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