The Oxygen Scarcity & COVID19 Crisis: Who will claim the blame?
Updated: Jul 24, 2021
The government in the upper house has claimed, “there is not even a single death due to lack of oxygen supply during the second wave of COVID-19 crisis this year”. The government is substantiating this claim by the alleged submission given by the state governments.
One spokesperson from the ruling party of Bihar yesterday said on a live TV debate, ” in none of the deaths from Covid did the death certificate mention Hypoxia or Asphyxia as the cause of death”. He is a doctor and further quoted “the cause of death was Cardiac arrest or “pulmonary edema and not Hypoxia or asphyxia secondary to the lack of supply of oxygen”.
Where are we heading? Any sensible person cannot refute the connection between the crisis and the scarcity of medical oxygen supply. This made patients suffer, and it even contributed to the deaths that were preventable. A spokesperson should have at least a basic understanding of the facts and not throw medical jargon with the intent to mislead or confuse people.
The central government is throwing the onus on state governments and vice versa. Seems like no one from the ruling parties (Center and states) has the courage or conscience to accept their mistakes and failure in managing the pandemic crisis. No one has yet come forth to accept the moral responsibility for the crisis and demise of the citizens. Forget forgiveness, there is a mode of denial to any wrongdoing. To what extent this mythomania will spread in our country?
What should I say about the parties whose stature has diminished to minuscule in the last six years? These party leaders could come ahead in public and accept the fact that there were casualties in their states (Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Odisha, Delhi). Once they would have accepted the fact of oxygen deprivation casualties in their states, they could be in the position to question the ruling party in the center and the states ruled by the same party. But they rejected the fact of failure in their states and hence lost the grace to ask or blame the government in the center. Everybody seems to be in a mode as if nothing wrong happened in their state, but there was a crisis in other states and on a national level. What’s happening to the political leaders of our country. Seems to be irresponsible, irrational, illogical, and inhuman have become the essential traits of politicians in our country.
While the center claims, “no deaths happened because of oxygen scarcity” based on reports submitted by the state governments, they missed quoting the total number of states they are in ruling position. Can these states governments gather the courage to raise questions to their central leadership? I don’t think so.
It’s time to remind the August 2017 incidence when in a state-run medical college in Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) over 60 children succumbed to an ill fate because of a shortage (apparent disconnection) of the medical oxygen supply. The medical college authorities alleged they had sent repeated requests to the state government to make the payments of the vendors to avoid disruption of the oxygen supply. Following which the Dean and another physician were the ones who paid the price by losing jobs and inquiries. Also, the state government refuted the fact of shortage or disruption of oxygen supply as the cause of the ill fate of those children. The further inquiry confirmed that oxygen disruption was the primary cause, but no one held the state government responsible for this negligence, putting the blame on hospital authorities, Dean, Doctors, and paramedics.
After almost three and half years of Gorakhpur incidence, the entire nation witnessed the same tragedy all across the country. Governments (Center and states) are again refuting the fact that medical oxygen deprivation during this pandemic cost us many lives. The bigger question is: “Will someone take the responsibility and resign from his/her position?” The stakes are high and I am sure the search for scapegoats is on.
In the end, this is my sincere appeal to the honorable prime minister to please not twist or hide the facts. The citizens of India have high regard and hence high expectations from him. The citizens of India believe in what he says or claims and that brings more responsibilities on his shoulders to stay transparent and speak only the truth.
May the almighty bring ethics and a sense of moral responsibility to the people in power. May God bless humanity.
Dr. Deepak Chaturvedi, M.D.,Medicine