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Only 4 deaths reported due to lack of oxygen from Punjab: Mandaviya

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Nagpur: Only Punjab reported four suspected deaths as per the Centre of the 19 states that responded to the Centre’s query on the data on deaths due to oxygen shortage.

Union Health minister Mansukh Madaviya informed the Lok Sabha, “We had written to all States asking for data on it. Nineteen states responded, only Punjab reported four ‘suspected’ deaths due to oxygen shortage.” A question was raised in the parliament by Maharashtra MP Balubhau Dhanorkar.

Mandaviya further replied that since the onset of the second wave in India, politics is being played on the oxygen availability in the country.

He added, “Our requirement was 900-1,000 MT per day, which went up to 1,400 MT per day during the first wave. During the second wave, our logistical capability naturally was to distribute about 1,400 MT [first wave’s requirement]. During the surge, our oxygen production capacity was ramped up; we brought in tankers from abroad; the Navy and the airforce were also engaged.”

Mandaviya stated that today the ministry has a production capacity of 4,500 MT. He further took a jibe at the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party and said that despite all the efforts taken up by the government, people played politics. “Some people moved the court and sought more oxygen after showing inflated figures of requirement. I saw tankers in Delhi were being diverted from their destinations. Politics was played even on the deaths,” Mandaviya said.

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