21st Jul 2021 11:07:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Although the Pegasus spyware issue is depriving parliament from functioning in the normal mode during the ongoing monsoon session, the Centre’s statement on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha that no state/UT has reported the deaths of Covid-19 patients due to lack of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) during the second wave is actually a boisterous claim that no oxygen-shortage-related deaths has occurred in the country! There is now a raging debate across the political and medical circles and among common people too as to in which category the assertion should be placed- a half-truth or a complete lie. Amid the disbelief that a statement has come from none other than the Union MoS Health himself and that too in parliament, it is necessary to have a rewind of the ‘events’ which are only a couple of months old.
Among the multiple medical-related factors that should underline the difference between the 1st and 2nd waves of the Covid pandemic are the requirement of medical oxygen and life-saving medicines, the necessity of which in the latter’s case has been conspicuously telling. People chasing for oxygen cylinders and failing to procure resulting in deaths of their near and dear ones days after days during the months of April-May has made front page news and international media too captured the endless plight with apt professionalism, all raising the question why despite the alert of the eminent calamity at least 2 months ahead of the unleash, preparedness was so hollow. In the national capital, at hospitals not too far from parliament from where the ‘claim’ was made, there are multiple media reports to endorse that more than 100+ Covid patients expired only due to oxygen shortage. Although the exact figure of deaths in the country due to want of O2 during the above critical months is hard to arrive, that the crisis has been overwhelming is apparent from the fact that scores of appeals were made in the courts by the families of the patients where the pleas were related to shortage and black marketing of oxygen cylinders. The High Courts too were flooded with appeals from the hospitals across the country wherein they expressed their inability to cope up with the deluge of Covid patients needing oxygen. It’s also difficult to assume the number of such casualties of patients while in home quarantine. However, the particular line from the statement made by the Union MoS -“Health is a state subject” will obviously raise eyebrows. What about cooperative federalism now, a term uttered religiously?
It’s imaginable what’s going on in the minds of those who lost their loved ones due to the overwhelming oxygen crisis after hearing this extraordinary commentary. Certainly, their pain will be doubled. 

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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