Change In Oxygen Distribution Policy By Centre Led To Disaster During Second Covid Wave: Manish Sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said all deaths reportedly caused due to shortage of oxygen during second wave of COVID-19 in the city will be investigated if the Centre allows the Delhi government to form a panel.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said all deaths reportedly caused due to shortage of oxygen during second wave of COVID-19 in the city will be investigated if the Centre allows the Delhi government to form a panel.

He also said that the Centre is trying to “hide its fault” and alleged that its “mismanagement” and change in oxygen distribution policy after April 13 caused a shortage of life-saving gas in the hospitals across the country, leading to a “disaster”.

Sisodia in an online briefing accused that the BJP-led Centre of not allowing the formation of a committee for probing deaths caused due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of COVID-19 in Delhi.

“The Centre blatantly and shamelessly lied to the Parliament on Tuesday. There was a genuine oxygen crisis across the country between April 15 and May 10. During this period, there was utter oxygen mismanagement by the Centre because of which, there was chaos in hospitals. The Centre is now lying to hide its mistakes. It changed its oxygen distribution policy after April 13 which led to a total disaster. The Centre will have to take responsibility for this,” said Sisodia.

“Today, to reinforce that lie, BJP spokespersons held a press conference and bashed non-BJP state governments, including that of Arvind Kejriwal [Delhi]. This has been etched in the history now that when the country was battling a brutal second wave of Covid-19, the Centre, because of its foolish policies, pushed the country into a full-blown oxygen crisis… Why is Prime Minister Modi lying?” he said.

Sisodia claimed that there was “utter mismanagement” of oxygen supply during the second wave in the country and blamed the Centre’s policies for the “disaster” that unfolded in the country.

“The government shamelessly told white lies in Parliament. There was utter chaos due to oxygen shortage after April 15 till May 5 and there is no big deal that people would die due to oxygen shortage,” he said.

The Kejriwal government took responsibility and tried to formed a committee to audit all the deaths that happened reportedly due to oxygen shortage but the Centre prevented it through the LG, said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader

He claimed that the Centre did not allow formation of the committee “fearing its mismanagement will be exposed”. The Kejriwal government is still ready for an independent audit of each death due to oxygen shortage if the Centre allows it to form the committee, he added.

Meanwhile, the central government on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and UTs during the second COVID-19 wave.

But there was an unprecedented rise in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave and it peaked at nearly 9,000 MT compared to 3,095 MT in the first wave following which the Centre had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution among the states, it said.

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