Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday has written to Union Health Ministry stating that it is difficult to ascertain if any oxygen-related death happened during the second wave of coronavirus without a probe.
"We are sending the file again to the Delhi LG for approval. We will carry out the probe with full responsibility and even punish those who were guilty. Earlier, through the LG (Delhi's Lieutenant Governor), the Centre did not allow that committee to be formed."
Sisodia said the Delhi government had formed a committee to probe the deaths and prepare a report so that the affected families can be given a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each. "We cannot say that there was no oxygen crisis. The families of patients, hospitals were sending out SOS messages for help at that time," he said.
Delhi has recorded over 25,000 fatalities due to the infection, he said, adding it will have to be probed how many of these were linked to the oxygen crisis during April and May.
On Wednesday, Sisodia had alleged that the Centre gave only 12-14 hours to the Delhi government to furnish data on deaths due to oxygen shortage during the second COVID-19 wave. The deputy CM's statement came after Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya questioned the Delhi government's claim of not having received any letter from the Centre inquiring about deaths due to oxygen shortage and tweeted the communication sent by his ministry on July 26 in this regard.
In the communication received by the Delhi government on July 26, the Centre gave time till noon of the next day to file the data, a mere 12-14 hours time frame, Sisodia said in response to Mandaviya's tweet.