Goa: 26 COVID-19 patients die at GMCH, minister seeks probe
(Sourced from PTI)
Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday said that 26 COVID-19 patients died at the state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in the early hours and sought an investigation by the High Court to find out the exact cause. He said that these fatalities occurred between 2 am and 6 am but remained evasive about the cause.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who visited GMCH, said that the gap between the "availability of medical oxygen and its supply to COVID-19 wards in the GMCH might have caused some issues for the patients" even as he stressed that there is no scarcity of oxygen supply in Goa. Many COVID-19 patients have succumbed to death due to oxygen shortage in the past few weeks.
Speaking to reporters, Rane admitted to a shortfall in the supply of medical oxygen at the GMCH as of Monday. "The High Court should investigate the reasons behind these deaths. The HC should also intervene and prepare a white paper on oxygen supply to the GMCH, which would help to set things right," the Health Minister said after CM's visit to the GMCH.
Rane said that the medical oxygen requirement of the facility as of Monday was 1,200 jumbo cylinders of which only 400 were supplied. Sawant announced the setting up of a ward-wise mechanism to ensure a smooth supply of medical oxygen.
"Doctors, who are busy treating patients, cannot spend their time in arranging logistics like oxygen. I will hold a meeting immediately to set up ward-wise mechanisms to ensure that oxygen is supplied to patients in time," Sawant said. Talking about the death of patients, he said, "Only medical experts can certify whether they died due to shortage of oxygen or any other medical reason."
Later, after holding the review meeting, he told reporters that certain corrective steps have been taken. "Jumbo cylinders were not reaching in time. The hospital requires 400 jumbo cylinders but now provision would be made to get 600. A liquid oxygen storage tank will be installed in GMCH within the next 8-10 days with a capacity of 20 metric tons," he informed.
"Further, to decrease the load on GMCH, beds in the Super Speciality Block would be increased by 200 and some patients from GMCH would be shifted there," Sawant said. "Those patients who do not require oxygen would be shifted to a hospital set up at Dr. Shama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium," Sawant added.
On Tuesday, Goa reported 2,804 fresh COVID-19 cases, thus pushing the total state tally to 1,21,650 COVID-19 cases. The state recorded 50 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday thus pushing the total COVID-19 deaths to 1,729. The state has so far recorded 87,659 COVID-19 recoveries.