The minister was responding to a question on whether a large number of Covid-19 patients died on roads and hospitals due to acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave.
The Centre has supported the states and it undertook a series of actions, including provisioning medical oxygen and other consumables, to ensure clinical care of patients in view of the steep rise of Covid-19 trajectory in the country during April-May, she said.
On the total demand of oxygen by the states and the total supply, the ministry said the supply of medical oxygen to hospitals is determined by contractual arrangements between the hospital and the medical oxygen supplier concerned.
“However, due to an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave — the demand in the country peaked to nearly 9,000 MT as compared to 3,095 MT during the first wave — the central government had to step in to facilitate equitable distribution to the states,” she said. The active caseload of the state and Union Territories was the primary determinant of oxygen allocation. Other factors such as case doubling rate, available medical infrastructure, etc were also given due consideration.