Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said that it is difficult to ascertain without a probe if there were any oxygen-related deaths during the second Covid wave. He said that he has written to the Union Health Ministry saying that it is difficult to find out the exact number of oxygen-related deaths without an investigation. He was addressing a virtual press conference here.
Sisodia added, “It is wrong to say that no death happened due to oxygen shortage. We have written a letter to the Union Health Minister regarding this. It will be difficult to ascertain the number of deaths due to the oxygen crisis. But to say that oxygen has not caused any death will be a mockery of those who have lost their family members”.
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.
“But through the LG (Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor), the Centre did not allow that committee to be formed. 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,” he added in the online media briefing.
Sisodia said that the capital has recorded over 25,000 deaths due to the infection and his government will have to probe how many of these were linked to the oxygen crisis during April and May. “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.
Earlier, Sisodia had said that the Delhi government has not received any letter from the Centre inquiring if any deaths in the national capital occurred due to oxygen shortage during the second Covid wave.