In a major embarrassment for the Congress, Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo has said that no deaths were reported in the state due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of Covid-19. Speaking to news agency ANI, Deo said that Chhattisgarh is an oxygen surplus state.
The remarks made by Deo puts the Congress in a Catch-22 situation as its leaders have been vocal against the government's admission in the Parliament that 'no deaths due to lack of oxygen specifically reported by states/UTs'. The party has accused the government of misleading Parliament by giving "false information". Congress leader KC Venugopal said that he will move a privilege notice against Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar as she has "misled and misguided" the Rajya Sabha.
"It is true that no patient died due to the lack of oxygen in Chhattisgarh. We are an oxygen-surplus state. There could have been some issues regarding management, otherwise, there is no death due to lack of oxygen," he told ANI on Tuesday.
"We heard about the oxygen shortage in some hospitals of Delhi and other states, but it is up to the governments there how to report it," he added.
"At least they (Centre) admitted that health is a state subject. Otherwise, it appeared as if they were taking everything under their control. They take credit for all good things and blame states for everything that is bad," Deo said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pawar in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha said: "Detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths have been issued by the Union Health Ministry to all states and UTs. Accordingly, all states and 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 and UTs."