(EDS: Recast throughout) Chennai, July 21 (PTI): Madhya Pradesh saw no deaths due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Centre's statement made in the Rajya Sabha that there were no such fatalities in the country is a fact, said Minister for Medical Education of the State Vishwas Kailash Sarang on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters here after meeting Tamil Nadu Medical and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian, the Madhya Pradesh Minister thanked the Centre for its efforts to address the demand for oxygen, including the use of IAF flights to meet the demand.
'In our State, no death has happened anywhere due to oxygen shortage. Like the Central Minister said in the House, that is the truth,' he said in an apparent reference to the written reply of Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
'The truth is that deaths have not happened due to oxygen shortage...during corona time, we procured 600 metric tonne (of oxygen) per day while our maximum consumption was 457 metric tonne,' Sarang said.
'The record speaks (for itself) and I want to thank the Centre for providing the facilities regarding oxygen procurement, including (pressing) military flights and trains,' he said.
In a tweet, he slammed the Opposition for allegedly creating an atmosphere of fear and said it was wrong.
'Neither has there been any death in Madhya Pradesh due to oxygen shortage nor is there any shortage of (Covid) vaccine,' he tweeted.
Hitting out at the Centre on the issue, the Congress party had accused Pawar of misleading Parliament for stating there were zero fatalities due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of the pandemic.
Party leader K C Venugopal has said he would move a privilege notice against the Minister as she had 'misled and misguided' the House.
Today, the BJP said the Opposition-ruled States claimed in courts there was no death due to shortage of oxygen during the second wave and made similar statements in their response to the Centre.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Opposition leaders, including Congress's Rahul Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, of politicking on the matter and said the States where these parties are in power have also claimed nil fatalities for want of oxygen.
Meanwhile, Sarang said he made a 'courtesy call' on Subramanian and Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, adding he had a 'detailed' discussion on the possible third corona wave.
In a separate statement, Subramanian said Sarang enquired about Tamil Nadu's anti-Covid measures and praised them. PTI SA NVG NVG