The Union health ministry has issued detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths. Accordingly, all states/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/UTs,” Bharti Pravin Paawar, junior minister for health told the Rajya Sabha
The minister while said this responding to a question on whether a large number of Covid-19 patients died on roads and hospitals due to acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave. She said, the states are supported by the Centre and it also undertook a series of actions, like provisioning medical oxygen and other consumables, to confirm clinical care of patients in the rise of Covid-19 trajectory in the country during April-May.
The ministry on the total demand of oxygen by the states and the total supply 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 an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave — the demand in the country peaked to nearly 9,000 MT as compared to 3,095 MT during the first wave — the central government had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution to the states,” she said.
The primary oxygen allocation is determinant on the active caseload of the state and UT. Other factors such as case doubling rate, available medical infrastructure, etc were also given due consideration.