NEW DELHI: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday attacked the Centre over its statement that there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen during the Covid second wave, alleging that the fatalities happened because the government increased oxygen exports in the pandemic year and did not arrange tankers to transport it.
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The Centre on Tuesday told the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were “specifically reported” by states and union territories during the second COVID-19 wave that hit the country.
Hitting out at the government, Priyanka Gandhi said, “‘No death due to lack of oxygen’: Central Government. The deaths happened because — in the pandemic year, the government increased oxygen exports by about 700 per cent.”
The Congress general secretary alleged that the deaths happened because the government did not arrange tankers to transport oxygen and ignoring the advice of the empowered group and a parliamentary committee, no arrangement was made to provide oxygen.
“No initiative was shown in setting up oxygen plants in hospitals,” she said.
The Congress on Tuesday accused Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar of misleading Parliament by giving “false information” that there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen during the second wave.
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In a written reply to a question, Pawar had said, “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”.