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No deaths due to Oxygen shortage: Goa’s Health Minister’s U-Turn

Panaji: Goa’s Health Minister Vishwajit Rane informed the House at the ongoing Goa Assembly that at no point in time, Oxygen supplies at Goa Medical College (GMC) ran out of stock and thus, no deaths have been reported to have been caused due to non-supply of Oxygen.

The statement in the floor of the House today contradicts statement made by Goa’s Health Minister to different sections of the Indian and International media:

In a report in the Times of India report dated May 12, 2022, Rane is quoted as saying, “Due to interrupted supply of oxygen, we feel that between 2am and 6am many people are dying in GMC. There is a need for an inquiry directly by the High Court. There are petitions pending before it. The HC can appoint an expert committee to find out why deaths are happening between 2am and 6am and come out with a white paper.” He further states in the article that our requirement was about 1,200 cylinders, but we received only 400 cylinders. The hospital is facing a shortage of Oxygen supply.

Even the New York Times has quoted Goa’s Minister Vishwajit Rane statement from the Times of India article saying, “Due to interrupted supply of oxygen, we feel that between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. many people are dying in G.M.C.”

Rane was replying to Opposition Leader Digambar Kamat’s question, in which the former Chief Minister had asked the Health Minister for details of the total number of deaths of COVID patients who died in Goa Medical College Hospital due to shortage of Oxygen supply.

“At no point in time, the Oxygen supplies at GMC ran out of stock and thus, no death has been reported to have caused due to non-supply of Oxygen. As of 14/07/2022, 3101 deaths have taken place due to COVID-19,” said Rane.

He further said that sudden surge of COVID-19 active cases in the 2nd week of May, the oxygen demand had suddenly shot up. But due to extra efforts put in by the Goa government, additional Oxygen was made available. None of the Government hospitals in the State ran out of oxygen supplies at no point in time.

“Therefore, no deaths have been reported to have been caused due to no supplies of Oxygen in any Government hospitals in the State till date. The government has already announced its preparedness to tackle COVID-19 Delta and Plus variant in the State,”

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