Oxygen crisis: 74 die at Goa Medical College and Hospital
In the past four days, 74 patients died at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) reportedly due to a lack of medical oxygen. The GMCH is the biggest COVID-19 facility in the state. Thirteen died in the "critical dark hours" between 1 am-6 am on Friday. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the supply of medical oxygen has "caused some issues."
Reportedly, 13 people died in the "critical dark hours" between 1 am-6 am on Friday, said former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, whose Goa Forward Party was allied with the ruling BJP until last month. On Thursday morning, 15 deaths were recorded. On Wednesday, 20 people died, while 26 people lost their lives between 2 am and 6 am on Tuesday.
The state government has told the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court that logistics were to blame, such as the transport of medical oxygen. The court slammed the government on Thursday that patients could not be allowed to die due to logistics. State authorities have been directed to file a status report to the court by 7 pm on Friday.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has conceded that the gap between the availability of medical oxygen and its supplies has "caused some issues." Sawant, who had visited the hospital on Tuesday, added that there was no scarcity of oxygen in the state. The same day, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said there was a shortfall in oxygen supply on Monday.
Rane has sought a probe by the HC. The court has already been hearing petitions on the state's handling of the COVID-19 crisis. It has asked the state government to "prepare a white paper on oxygen supply."
As of Thursday, the latest available update, Goa had reported a total of 1,30,130 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has climbed to 1,937. On Thursday alone, 2,491 more persons tested positive for COVID-19, while 63 people died of the infection. The total number of recoveries rose to 95,240 after 2,266 patients were discharged. There are 32,953 active cases in the state.