New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Central government has asked the states and Union Territories to provide data on deaths related to oxygen shortage during the second wave of Coronavirus pandemic in the country sources told news agency ANI. The information is to be collated and presented in Parliament before the end of the monsoon session on August 13.

Earlier this year, a surge in the Coronavirus cases across India put immense pressure on the country's health infrastructure. Amid this, critical supplies such as hospital beds, oxygen, drugs, and vaccines fell short. India had to import oxygen from several countries on an emergency basis as several people died without oxygen.

According to an NDTV report, over 80 people died at a state-run medical facility in five days in the month of May in Goa. 11 Covid patients admitted to the ICU of a hospital lost their lives after oxygen supply was disrupted in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, 7 people succumbed at a government hospital during a two-hour cut in supply in Hyderabad.

Amid all this, several states went to court over oxygen shortage, as the government started Oxygen Express trains to ensure supplies. Earlier, the Centre even ordered an investigation into the oxygen demand raised by the Delhi government. 21 people died in one hospital in Delhi due to an oxygen shortage, the matter of which is pending in High Court.

Despite all this, the Centre earlier this month told the parliament that "no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by states and Union Territories". It also added that the states had not provided any data regarding this.

The opposition slammed the Centre on this and demanded accountability. "This is a blind and unconcerned government. People have seen how many of their near and dear ones have died because of lack of oxygen," Congress leader KC Venugopal said.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha