On Wednesday, the Health Ministry said there were deaths due to Oxygen shortage in Andhra Pradesh while the patients were on ventilators. The ministry gave a written reply in Rajya Sabha admitting that the deaths occurred due to the shortage of Oxygen.
Andhra Pradesh was the first state to accept that patients had died due to the unavailability of Oxygen and had sent a notice to the Centre.
This is a very important development as so far both the states and Centre had refused to acknowledge that there were any deaths due to the shortage of Oxygen.
The Union government had also told the Rajya Sabha on July 21 that now deaths were reported due to the shortage of Oxygen.
However, the Opposition’s huge reaction over this statement as the government was accused of lying to the nation.
After this, the Centre had asked the states and the Union Territories to submit reports of deaths due to shortage of Oxygen by August 13.
The reply from the Health Ministry came after a question was posed to it by an MP over whether the government had made any inquiries into deaths due to the Oxygen shortage in Andhra Pradesh.
Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said that on May 10 in the SVRR hospital in Tirupati there was a demand for 10-kilo litres of Oxygen.
However, when the exchange of cylinders was happening there was a drop in the pressure due to which patients who were mainly on ventilator support died.
This was the first time that the Centre has accepted that there were deaths due to the Oxygen shortage.
With the data from the other states yet to come it is expected that after all the states report their deaths by August 1 the government could acknowledge several more instances where deaths happened due to the shortage in Oxygen levels.