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Centre, states row over O2 deaths in 2nd wave

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and several Opposition parties were locked in a war of words over how many people in India died due to lack of oxygen supplies while battling Covid-19, a day after the Union government told Parliament that no state reported such fatalities. The submission to Parliament brought back focus on a crisis that in part defined the devastation of the second wave, but with little accountability being fixed since. A database of media reports from the time has identified at least 619 deaths that likely occurred because of lack of oxygen, while many more may have taken place outside of inundated hospitals. Still, with most states unwilling, even on Wednesday, to accept that there were deaths on account of oxygen supplies, the Union government’s submission, while insensitive, could well be technically correct.

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