Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday said that no COVID-19 patient died in the state-run hospitals due to the shortage of medical oxygen.
He also said most of the COVID-19 fatalities have occurred due to the delay on part of patients in seeking proper medical treatment.
Mr Tope termed “false” the media reports that the shortage of medical oxygen resulted in the death of COVID-19 patients in some parts of the state.
“I have received reports from (government) hospitals in the state. No COVID-19 patient died due to the shortage of oxygen in these hospitals,” he told reporters.
Earlier this week, family of 10 COVID-19 patients who died at two hospitals in Palghar district neighbouring Mumbai had alleged that a shortage of oxygen led to the deaths.
Civic authorities in Palghar and the management of the medical facilities had denied these allegations.
Mr Tope attributed most COVID-19 fatalities due to late admission in hospitals.
“Especially in rural areas, coronavirus positive patients are being traditionally treated by local doctors,” he said.
Mr Tope further said that people showing specific symptoms should get themselves tested for coronavirus without delay and seek medical treatment.
He also appealed to eligible people to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
“There are 4,200 vaccination centres in Maharashtra where eligible people can go and get themselves inoculated,” the health minister said.
Mr Tope also appreciated doctors and frontline workers for their efforts and dedication during the pandemic.
Maharashtra, which is the worst-affected state in India, recorded a total of 37,70,707 COVID-19 cases till Saturday while 59,970 patients have died so far, as per the state health department.