New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday informed the Lok Sabha that Punjab had reported four deaths due to shortage of Oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Replying to a question during the 'Question Hour' in the Lower House, he said that the Centre has written to 19 states thrice seeking the data of the deaths caused due to the shortage of Oxygen but only the Punjab has reported.
The Minister also said that there had been a lot of politics on 'shortage of oxygen'.
Explaining the issue, he further mentioned that there was an average requirement of oxygen use to 1400 MT in the country but during the second wave of coronavirus, the demand surged to 9000 MT, which was an extraordinary situation.
But when the situation arose, the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi made all the possible measures to supply oxygen to the nook and corner of the country, Mandaviya said. He added that big empty containers were brought from abroad by the Indian Air Force and filled oxygen container by the Indian Navy ships were pressed into the service to bring oxygen to the country and we made adequate supply to all hospitals.
The Minister also said the states should not refrain from providing proper data on Covid-19 deaths. "We have repeatedly appealed to the states to provide data, and 19 states responded that there was no death reported due to shortage of Oxygen.
States respond to their respective HCs that there are no deaths, but they questioned the central government on the number of deaths in the country, the Minister further said.
"We have also asked the states to be prepared for further Covid-19 waves and assured that there is no Oxygen shortage this time, all Oxygen plants are operating at full capacity," Mandaviya said.
The health minister also informed the House that the Centre has allocated additional funds to each district hospital to prepare themselves for the next wave of this pandemic.
He also informed that the PSA plants set up under the PMCARE funds have been working in full capacity.