Not a single medical oxygen plant in BJP-ruled MP; shortage blamed for death of many COVID patients

There is not single medical oxygen plant in MP’s 55 districts. Govt decided to establish oxygen plants in 37 districts just 2 days ago even as experts said oxygen shortage was behind many COVID deaths

Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @ndtv
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @ndtv

NH Political Bureau

  • Twelve Covid patients died at Shahdol Medical College in Madhya Pradesh on April 18 due to shortage of oxygen. However, the state government and the hospital administration claimed that six patients had died due to lack of oxygen support.
  • In Damoh where a bypoll was held on April 18, a fight broke out in a hospital for oxygen cylinders on Tuesday. Relatives of those admitted in the hospital snatched oxygen cylinders from hospital staff and also thrashed policemen in the middle of the night.
  • Former MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath said people are running from pillar to post to secure oxygen support for their loved ones. In Indore, Jabalpur, Bhopal – apart from beds and ICUs, people are desperate for oxygen. “After all, how long will deaths continue due to lack of oxygen in the state?” questioned the former Chief Minister.

Now consider this: After a steep rise in Covid deaths (due to lack of oxygen support), CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led MP government decided to establish oxygen plants in 37 districts just two days ago.

The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the PWD Department has been asked to select locations in all the 37 districts and set up the units within one to three months for meeting future requirements.

It is noteworthy that one of the biggest states of India does not have an oxygen plant. There are 55 districts in Madhya Pradesh, but zero oxygen plants.

A Bhopal-based doctor, who did not wish to be named, attributed most of the deaths to the unavailability of oxygen support. “Many lives could have been saved had the government been able to supply oxygen cylinders in time,” the doctor told National Herald over the phone.

“The problem is that even the state government does not maintain data. Maybe they do not want to. Another problem is that the whole focus is on cities and urban areas whereas the pandemic has already reached rural areas of MP. No one knows how many people have died or are likely to die in villages due to lack of oxygen support and preventive medicines,” he added.

Indore-based Dr Anand Rai, a known critic of the BJP government in MP, told National Herald that oxygen shortage was causing a huge problem in the state.

“Actually, the whole system has collapsed. Even the government does not know how many beds are available in a particular hospital. Why cannot the governments develop a railway-like-system wherein everyone can see the availability of beds in hospitals?” questioned Dr Rai.

“The government seems clueless. The BJP government neither has experts who can design a policy nor infrastructure. Countless people will die owing to the present-day government’s systematic failure and inefficiency,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh continues to be among the top contributors to India. The state has reported 3,713 active coronavirus cases and 519 deaths in the last 24 hours.

As per official data, MP is presently getting 390 metric tonnes oxygen on a daily basis against the daily requirement of 347 metric tonnes. The oxygen supply to the state with Central government’s help will be increased to 445 metric tonnes by April 20, 565 metric tonnes by April 25 and 700 metric tonnes by April 30, said the government.

However, the question is, how will the oxygen be transported to the rural areas? And even more pertinently, when will Madhya Pradesh be able to have its own oxygen plants?

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines