‘Centre will soon say there is no Covid-19’: Delhi health minister Jain on ‘no deaths due to oxygen shortage’ remark
Delhi health minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Satyendar Jain attacked the Centre for a Union minister's remark that there have been no deaths due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
Jain said on Wednesday that the Centre will soon say there is no Covid-19 pandemic.
“If there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen, then why were hospitals going to high court for shortages? This is completely false,” Jain said, adding both hospitals and media had flagged the shortage of the life saving gas daily and claimed there were many deaths in Delhi and other parts across the country.
Delhi, along with other regions, recorded a massive surge in cases and deaths due to the viral disease in April when the pandemic was in its worst form.
The national capital’s health infrastructure saw a near collapse as hospitals struggled with a severe shortage of medical oxygen and could only manage to procure very limited supplies for a very short duration. Many seriously infected Covid-19 patients reportedly died due to the dire unavailability of the life saving gas. On many occasions, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia urged the Centre to provide a daily quota of 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi.
However, the AAP-led government also faced the ire of the public and the Centre over the oxygen crisis in April and its unpreparedness to tackle the pandemic. Last month, a war of words broke out between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the AAP after the former, citing a Supreme Court appointed audit panel report, alleged the Delhi government exaggerated its demand for oxygen by over four times between April 25 and May 10.
Meanwhile, health minister Jain also said on Wednesday that the Delhi government had formed an audit committee to provide compensation to the victims, which had been stopped by the Centre through the lieutenant governor (L-G). Underlining that complete data of deaths due to oxygen would have been out if the committee was formed, Jain further said, “The Centre is rubbing salt on wounds. We’ll appeal to the L-G to allow us to run the committee.”