NEW DELHI: No one died between 11:30 pm and 1:30 am on the night of August 10 in Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital when oxygen supply got disrupted, UP’s health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said in an interview. Excerpts: The Opposition said the government’s denial of any deaths due to oxygen shortage was a cover-up… The last death which happened on August 10 was at 10:05 pm. The next unfortunate death happened at 5:30 am on August 11. The oxygen disruption happened after 11:30 pm for a couple of hours. From 7:30 pm, low pressure came in through the piped gas – the valve was then switched to gas cylinder oxygen. If oxygen is not there, a child will die immediately. More than 100 others were also admitted and oxygen was connected to them too. How did those patients survive? The doctors told us that the deaths were not due to lack of oxygen but due to other causes. We went through the records too. One can claim that the records are fudged but these are the records presented to us. We need to further investigate it. We have checked from two-three places – from the wards, the death certificates – to check what time the deaths happened. One can’t fudge everywhere. A magisterial inquiry is on – if something comes out, we will definitely take further action. Why was the BRD Medical College principal shunted out? There is a contract between oxygen supplier INOX, dealer Pushpa Sales (who takes a commission) and the BRD Hospital. The chief secretary will look into this contract. The principal, BRD wrote to DG, medical education on August 4 saying Pushpa Sales needs to be paid Rs 68 lakh. Pushpa Sales wrote a letter about this to principal, BRD on August 1. On August 5, the payment was released to principal BRD of Rs 2 crore – Rs 68 lakh out of it had to be shifted to the supplier. But the principal did not pay till August 11. Pushpa Sales in interim wrote to the principal BRD it will cut off supply. Obviously, he was up to something. There are reports with us from many doctors saying they had heard he was doing some deals. The principal did not inform the CM on August 9 during a visit to the hospital about the oxygen problem. He went on leave soon after without any sanction. There is gross negligence. Doesn’t quoting old statistics to claim 60 deaths in five days are not abnormal insensitivite? Unfortunately that is the only way you can explain, though it sounds insensitive. August is the month when a lot of infections and vector-borne diseases and AES (Acute Encephalitis Syndrome) cases comes into BRD. Footfall is about 4,000-5,000 patients per day in BRD. The records of past four-five years show a death count of 20-odd daily in BRD August. I only explained this so as to not create a panic the way it is being created. Opposition said you should have resigned taking moral responsibility like your grandfather Lal Bahadur Shastri did as railways minister after a train accident… I have no issues in taking moral responsibility but they are asking the wrong person. I am not the relevant minister.