Audit deaths on account of oxygen scarcity throughout Covid, compensate sufferer households: Parliamentary panel to govt

Patient

The Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare has really useful that the Union well being ministry, together with states, audit the deaths of Covid-19 sufferers on account of scarcity of oxygen, particularly through the second wave of the pandemic, and guarantee correct compensation to the sufferer households.

After analysing varied points of the pandemic administration, together with oxygen scarcity, surveillance, and vaccine improvement and administration, the panel submitted its report on Monday.

In the report, the committee has additionally urged the federal government to boost voice to determine the origin of Sars-CoV-2. “The committee, therefore, strongly recommends the government to reckon its diplomacy to appeal to the comity of nations to conduct more studies to identify the origin of Covid-19 and penalise the culprits at the international platform,” the report stated.

Oxygen scarcity

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“There were no definite guidelines for identifying the deaths due to inadequate supply of oxygen. Oxygen shortage is not noted as a cause of death in the medical records and most of the deaths were attributed to co-morbidities,” the committee stated in its report.

The committee stated that on Union authorities’s request for particulars on deaths on account of oxygen scarcity, 20 states responded however none of them confirmed any. “The committee is disturbed at the unfortunate denial of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding Covid deaths due to oxygen shortage in the country,” the report stated.

It stated that the federal government was warned of a potential scarcity of oxygen in 2020, when it assured that the nation was self-sufficient in oxygen. “The government failed to manage the even distribution of oxygen among states and amid the skyrocketing demand, the government could not maintain a steady flow of oxygen leading to an unprecedented medical crisis,” the report stated.

The ministry knowledgeable the committee that the each day liquid medical oxygen provide was elevated from 1,292 MT per day in February 2021 to six,593 MT in April 2021. On May 28, 10,250 MT of LMO was allotted to the states. The authorities additionally stated that 1.02 lakh oxygen cylinders have been procured in April and May 2020 and order for one more 1.27 lakh cylinders was positioned in April 2021.

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Vaccine approvals

The committee additionally questioned the federal government’s resolution on emergency use authorisation to vaccines with none particular provisions within the Clinical Trials Rules-2019 or Drugs and Cosmetics Act-1940. “Ambiguity on the vaccine trials as well as the procedure followed for EUA reflects greatly on the need for making amendments to the Indian laws,” the report stated.

The committee additionally steered that rigorous assessments be carried out earlier than granting such approvals in future. It additionally really useful analysis to optimise the interval between vaccine doses. It additionally steered smaller vaccine vials of 5 doses every to test wastage.

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The committee additionally questioned India not giving up on the mental property rights for Covaxin that was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research.

“…India has been advocating the waiver of intellectual property rights of Covid vaccines at the global level, however, the committee is perplexed to note that the government has taken no major initiative to waive the same for the indigenous vaccine, Covaxin, developed in collaboration with the ICMR,” the report stated, including that chance of tech switch to the general public sector undertakings should be explored.

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