The world sent India millions in Covid aid. Where has it gone?
May 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 18.1%. 2 min read.
As India's Covid-19 crisis tipped past breaking point last month, dozens of countries pledged critical aid.
"We sent delegations to (the government) for clarity on supplies of (oxygen), drugs and vaccination drive but were not spoken to in clarity from the Union Government," said Raghu Sharma, health minister of Rajasthan state, on Tuesday.
"Regarding the import or foreign aid, no information or supply details have been shared with the state government. "
The Health Ministry said on Tuesday that it had distributed aid to two hospitals in Rajasthan, in the cities of Jodhpur and Jaipur.
Oxygen shortages are particularly pronounced in the union territory of Delhi, which does not produce its own oxygen and relies on the central government to send allocations from different manufacturers and states.
"It's the duty of the government to provide us oxygen," said Dr. S. C. L. Gupta, director of Batra Hospital in the capital New Delhi.
Gupta said hospital staff spent the day telling authorities they only had a few hours of oxygen left; toward the end, they had to rely on oxygen provided by patients' families.
It took the government seven days to create a mechanism to distribute supplies to states, the Health Ministry said in a news release on Tuesday.
As the government scrambles to get backlogged aid to desperate states, it is also working to increase domestic oxygen production.
"Death of Covid patients just for non supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen," the court said on Tuesday.
Two of five on-site oxygen plants earmarked for Delhi hospitals would be operational on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said on Twitter.