No data on COVID deaths due to oxygen shortage in Centre-run hospitals at Delhi: RTI


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Some of the premier hospitals in the country such as All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur, Bhopal and Bhubaneshwar, PGIME, and centrally run facilities located in the national capital Lady Hardinge, Ram Manohar Lohia, Safdarjung maintain no data related to death of Covid patients owing to non-availability of beds and shortage of ventilators or oxygen, reveals an RTI reply.

Activist Aniket Gaurav had requested for responses on three questions Deaths owing to shortage of oxygen,  ventilators and beds from Delhi government as well as some centrally run hospitals.

When the same questions were also filed as an RTI, the state government rejected the application stating that “no such data available”.

While most of the AIIMS centres said there is no such data or record maintained, a few replied that no death has happened so far due to lack of oxygen or ventilators or shortage of beds.

“I got the idea of filing this RTI after reading a news reports which said a court has asked the Delhi government to submit data on deaths in the city hospitals owing to shortage of oxygen, ventilators, etc, before deciding on compensation for the family members of victims,” said Aniket.

“The Delhi government merely transferred the application from one department to another and at last rejected the RTI saying, ‘no such data available’. It shows a very casual approach of the officials while handling the RTI application. Therefore I will file an appeal in the coming days,” he said.

Aniket said the RTI was first filed with the Union health ministry but it was not maintaining any such data under a single authority as it transferred the responsibility to various hospitals such as AIIMS, Safdarjung, JIPMER Puducherry, NEIGRIHMS Shillong among others. 

“It would have been better if any department at the central level had asked all the states to provide data of deaths owing to shortage of oxygen, ventilator or beds,” he said.

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