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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 3768
ANSWERED ON:  25.03.2022
Deaths due to Oxygen Shortage
Sisir Kumar Adhikari
Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Will the Minister of



HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state:-


a) whether the Government has collected data on suspected deaths due to oxygen shortage reported by States and Union Territories if so, the details thereof;
b) whether the Government has conducted any inquiry on such deaths, if so, the details thereof;
c) whether the Government has issued any guidelines for States/UTs to record deaths due to oxygen shortage, if so, the details thereof;
d) whether the Government has fixed any responsibility on the concerned officials or authorities unable to provide sufficient medical oxygen supply and prevent such deaths, if so, the details thereof; and
e) the measures taken to ensure that the States/UTs have sufficient supply of medical oxygen in anticipation of potential future waves of COVID-19 along with the other steps taken in this regard?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE
(DR BHARATI PRAVIN PAWAR)

(a) to (e): Government of India maintains data of total cases and deaths reported by States/UTs on a regular basis. Accordingly, Union Government has requested States/UTs to furnish the details as asked for. Few States/UTs have responded and none of the State/UT has reported confirmed death due to oxygen shortage.
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.
ICMR on 10th May 2020 issued ‘Guidance for appropriate recording of COVID- 19 related deaths in India’ (Available at: https://www.icmr.gov.in/pdf/covid/techdoc/Guidance_appropriate_recording_of_related_deaths_India.pdf).
MoHFW vide letter dated 9th October 2020 has conveyed to States/UTs, WHO and ICMR guidelines on correct recording of COVID-19 related deaths in accordance with globally accepted ICD-10 classification and also urged states to undertake periodic death audits with an aim to improve quality of healthcare services by suitable corrective measures. States/UTs were also provided with a proforma for death audits in this regard.
Health is a State subject. Government of India is supporting States in their endeavor to enhance preparedness and response capacities against COVID-19. Various initiatives have been taken by the Government to provide technical guidance and further strengthen health infrastructure, availability of essential logistics including drugs and medical oxygen supply to manage COVID-19.
More than 180 guidelines/advisories/SoPs/plans have been issued to States/UTs by Ministry of Health &Family Welfare. This includes technical guidance on issues ranging from surveillance and containment of COVID-19, travel advisories, clinical management protocols for managing COVID-19 cases in adults and children, management of mucormycosis, rational use of oxygen, SOPs for safe resumption of activities in workplaces, markets, religious places etc.
In order to address the surge in demand for oxygen, the Central Government had supported States in terms of increasing the availability, streamlining the distribution and strengthening the oxygen storage infrastructure in the country. Steps were initiated to import Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) from overseas, Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Plants were taken up besides providing oxygen cylinders and concentrators to States.
As on 21st March 2022, 3756 PSA plants have been commissioned in the country. This includes PSA plants under PM-CARES, PSUs of various Central Ministries, and other sources to enhance capacity of medical oxygen production and supply at the facility level. 4,02,517 oxygen cylinders and 1,13,858 oxygen concentrators have been allocated to States/UTs.
Under ECRP Phase II, funds for installation of 958 Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) storage tanks with 1,359 Medical Gas Pipeline Systems (MGPS) has also been provided to States.
All States/UTs are provided financial support through ongoing infrastructure upgradation schemes including National Health Mission, Emergency COVID-19 Response Packages – I & II and State Disaster Response Funds to assist in management of COVID-19 pandemic.


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