Panel formed to look into deaths due to shortage of O2; family to get Rs 5L compensation

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New Delhi, Jun 4 (PTI) The Delhi government has set up a panel of medical experts to look into cases of death of patients reportedly due to a shortage of oxygen during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.

If the panel ascertains that death of a patient had occurred due to shortage of oxygen, then the Delhi government will give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased, he said.

In an online briefing, he said the file has been sent to Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and the panel will start functioning once the L-G approves it.

During the second wave of coronavirus, there was a 'massive oxygen crisis' in Delhi, and there were reports that oxygen shortage led to deaths at some hospitals, Sisodia said.

'We took the issue seriously and took a decision to form a four-member committee to look into the matter. It is a committee comprising medical experts. We have sent the file for the L-G's approval,' he said.

'This committee will meet twice a week and will look into each case and decide whether the death happened due to the shortage of the life-saving gas,' he said.

The panel of four members will inspect claims of all those families who have lost their loved ones due to oxygen scarcity, and thereafter if validated, the process to disburse Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to each family will begin, Sisodia said.

A senior official said people who died at a hospital or in transit would be covered under it.

Starting mid-April, scenes of distressed family members scrambling around in the city to get oxygen cylinders or concentrators for patients had become very common.

Several hospitals too had sent out SOS messages alerting authorities on shortfall of oxygen supply, with many deaths being reported at some facilities, reportedly due to lack of the life-saving gas. PTI SLB/KND SNE

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