Priyanka Gandhi alleges govt increased export of oxygen by 700% in 2020

Priyanka Gandhi launched a direct attack on central government over oxygen crisis in during second wave of COVID, saying the government increased oxygen export by 700 per cent in 2020

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NH Web Desk

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday once again launched a direct attack on the central government over the oxygen crisis in the country during the second wave of the Covid pandemic, saying the government increased oxygen export by 700 per cent in 2020.

In a Facebook post, the Congress leader said that as the second wave of Covid-19 raged, almost every Indian state began reporting a shortage of oxygen.

"Many died gasping for air, while others watched helplessly as their loved ones breathed their last without access to this most basic of medical facilities. Who is responsible for the lack of oxygen in hospitals across India?" she asked.

In her post she further stated that India is not an oxygen "deficient" country. The oxygen producing industry in India was incentivised by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's government to supplement the steel industry back in the 1950s and 60s. This laid the foundation for a robust infrastructure that enables India to produce 7,500 MT of oxygen per day. Just to give you an idea of the requirement for medical oxygen in India, let's look at the oxygen consumption of all Indian hospitals put together at the peak of the second covid wave.

Citing examples she said that India produced 7,603 MT of Oxygen per day on May 1, 8,920 MT per day on May 6, 8,944 MT per day on May 9 and 8,344 MT per day on May 20. She said that at its height, this figure was 8944 MT. This means that the oxygen shortfall at the peak of this wave was less than 1500 MT.

"So, what went wrong?" she questioned.

Attacking the government, Priyank Gandhi said, "The (Narendra) Modi government increased its oxygen exports by over 700 per cent in the year 2020, a pandemic year. Most of this supply went to Bangladesh. It also made no investments towards the early import of surplus oxygen."

She also alleged that in a shocking example of incompetence, the Modi government made no effort to arrange for the transport of oxygen from oxygen producing facilities to the hospitals of India in case of an oxygen emergency.

Meanwhile, India recorded 1,73,790 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the lowest in the last 45 days.

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