New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Binoy Viswam on Thursday has moved privilege motion notice against an answer in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State Bharati Pravin Pawar that no one has died because of the non-availability of oxygen.
"The Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, in reply to unstarred question 243 on July 20, 2021 has stated that there were no deaths due to oxygen shortage reported by States during the second wave of COVID-19. Beyond being absolutely disrespectful to the hundreds who suffered this avoidable demise, the Government has tried to mislead the Parliament with its response and thereby broken parliamentary privilege," wrote Viswam to Rajya Sabha Secretary General.
The CPI leader said that thousands of people died due to the lack of oxygen during the months of April and May 2021 across the country. The innumerable reports in the media and numerous citizen's personal experience during those fateful months are testament to this fact.
Virtually every High Court and even the Supreme Court was inundated with desperate pleas from hospitals and citizens requesting oxygen, the lack of which was the failure of the Government to adequately prepare for this crisis.
The Rajya Sabha MP emphasised that is no official data on the number of persons who died due to the shortage of oxygen.
"The complete lack of accountability and attempts to mislead this house as well as the people of this country require the most serious of action. In light of this, I urge you to take notice of this breach of privilege and ensue proceedings in that regard," stated Viswam.
The Central government on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen has been specifically reported by states/Union territories during the second wave of COVID-19.
Responding to a question by Congress MP KC Venugopal on whether a large number of COVID-19 patients died on roads and hospitals due to acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave, Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar pointed out that health is a state subject and accordingly all states/UTs report cases and deaths to the Union Health Ministry on a regular basis.
In a written reply, she stated that the Government of India has supported the States and undertook a series of actions including provisioning medical oxygen.
"Health is a State subject. Detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths have been issued by Union Health Ministry to all states/UTs. Accordingly, all states/UTs report cases and deaths to Union Health Ministry on a regular basis. However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen has been specifically reported by states/UTs. However, Government of India has supported the States and undertook a series of actions including provisioning medical oxygen, and other consumables to ensure clinical care of COVID-19 patients in view of steep rise of COVID-19 trajectory in the country during April- May 2021," reads the reply. (ANI)