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Centre did wrong by trying to hide deaths due to lack of oxygen during COVID-19 second wave, alleges Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain | India News

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New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday (September 22) lashed out at the Centre and accused the government of doing politics over the issue of oxygen crisis during the second COVID-19 wave. 

Jain also alleged the Central government is trying to stop the formation of a Delhi government’s panel to probe deaths allegedly caused due to shortage of oxygen in the national capital. The Delhi Health Minister’s remarks come in the backdrop of Delhi High Court clearing the way for the formation of a constitution of a high-powered committee (HPC) by the AAP government to investigate deaths due to lack of medical oxygen during the second coronavirus wave, PTI reported. 

“The Centre also did politics over the issue of oxygen crisis and even said in Parliament that no deaths due to oxygen shortage were reported,” Jain said at a press conference. 

Further, he said that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had formed a four-member panel comprising medical experts in June and the files were sent to Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal for approval. “However, the Centre tried to stop it via the LG office,” Jain added. 

The Delhi Health Minister said that the Centre did a “wrong thing” by “trying to hide deaths” that may have been caused by dearth of oxygen. 

The Delhi high court, which was hearing a plea to operationalise the HPC on Tuesday, had recorded that as per the Delhi government, the criteria for determining compensation will be open to scrutiny and its task would not overlap with that of a sub-group constituted by the Supreme Court on allocation and utilisation of oxygen. 

On August 20, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had alleged that the Lieutenant Governor had again rejected the proposal to form a committee to “investigate deaths due to oxygen shortage” in the national capital. “That means the Centre deliberately wants us to give in writing that no death occurred due to the shortage of oxygen in the entire country. It will be a big lie. It will be a cruel joke with the families who have lost their loved ones.” Sisodia asserted. 

In July, during the Monsoon session of Parliament, the Central government had said in the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by states/Union territories during the second wave of coronavirus. 

(With agency inputs)

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