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Centre has rejected formation of panel to audit deaths due to lack of oxygen in hospitals: Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

While Jaipur Golden Hospital had said that 21 Covid patients had died at their hospital in April after oxygen had run out, Batra Hospital authorities said 12 patients died due to the same reason on May 1.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 17, 2021 10:48:49 am
Delhi covid deaths, delhi covid news, delhi oxygen crisis, delhi news updates, delhi news today, delhi latest news, delhi corona news, delhi covid deaths newsA woman mourns the death of a relative, who died due to shortage of oxygen at the ICU in Batra Hospital, New Delhi. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Wednesday alleged that the Centre has rejected the formation of a committee proposed by the Delhi government to look into the deaths at Jaipur Golden and Batra hospitals due to lack of oxygen and award compensation to the families of the deceased.

While Jaipur Golden Hospital had said that 21 Covid patients had died at their hospital in April after oxygen had run out, Batra Hospital authorities said 12 patients died due to the same reason on May 1.

As cases shot up in Delhi in April and May, Delhi battled three long weeks, when a chasm existed between oxygen supply and demand to hospitals. Hospitals were forced to send out SOS calls to the government and even on social media regularly. They also appealed to the Delhi High Court for regular supply.

The Delhi government had announced in May-end that a committee to assess deaths caused by oxygen shortage in hospitals was being formed and approval was sought from L-G Anil Baijal.

The proposed committee comprised six members — Dr Naresh Kumar, Director-Professor (Medicine), LNJP and MAMC; Dr Amit Kohli, senior anesthetist, LNJP; Dr Sanjeev Kumar, specialist, anesthesia, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital; Surender Kumar from DGHS (HQ); Dr A C Shukla, medical superintendent, Mata Chanan Devi Hospital, Janak Puri; and Dr J P Singh, medical superintendent, Tirath Ram Hospital in Civil Lines.

The committee would provide compensation of up to Rs 5 lakh to families of those who died due to oxygen shortage, after the committee audited the causes of deaths.

The file was sent to the L-G.

“The Centre has refused to grant approval for the formation of the committee. This committee was made after the intervention of the Delhi High Court. I don’t understand what the Centre’s problem with this could be? They are trying to create hurdles unnecessarily… They have been interfering in the day-to-day functioning of all opposition-ruled state governments. This is unnecessary. I request the Centre to not interfere in states’ matters,” Sisodia said.

Earlier this year, the Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Act was passed in Parliament. This amendment made it clear that the ‘government’ in Delhi would refer to the nominated L-G, and not the elected government. This means that all decisions taken by the elected government will have to pass through the L-G.

Sisodia said that the Centre has tried to interfere in the work of governments in West Bengal and Maharashtra too in the past.

“Governments want to work for the people. Here we are trying to form a committee to compensate for the deaths of those who lost loved ones, and they have blocked it. I wonder sometimes if they have some genuine issues or are they just being childish,” the Deputy CM said.

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