No COVID-19 patient died due to shortage of medical oxygen in Gujarat hospitals, state health minister Rushikesh Patel told the Assembly today. He made this statement in response to claims made by the opposition Congress.
In his address to the House on budgetary allocations for the Health Department, Patel also said Congress was misguiding the people as part of its strategy for the upcoming Assembly polls, expected to be held in December.
“The entire world has seen a pandemic after 100 years. When the second wave of coronavirus took place, oxygen levels in infected persons started dropping. But, thanks to our preparations, I can say with full confidence that no patient died due to the shortage of oxygen in hospitals in the state,” said Patel.
“The Congress spread lies (that people died due to oxygen shortage). The opposition party is misleading the House as well as people of the state to get political mileage and win the 2022 Assembly elections. The BJP is not like them. Even when we were not in power, we used to think about the upliftment of the downtrodden,” Patel claimed.
He also hit out at the Congress for blaming the ‘Namaste Trump’ event held in Ahmedabad for the spread of coronavirus. Former US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the event, which took place in February, 2020, a month before the nation went in a lockdown.
“We keep hearing from the Congress that coronavirus entered Gujarat because Trump came here. Though he did not go to China, UK or Europe, coronavirus spread in those regions too,” Patel said taunting the opposition party.
Giving details about the infrastructure created by the government to fight a possible third wave of the pandemic, he said over 1 lakh oxygen-equipped beds, including 15,000 ICU beds and 9,700 ventilator beds, were kept ready to deal with any eventuality.
Gujarat now has 192 laboratories, including 111 government-run ones, for conducting RT-PCR tests, he added.
Patel also informed the House that over 4.74 crore people above the age of 18 in the state, which comes to 96.7 per cent, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.