UP hospital snapped oxygen supply, 22 patients died within minutes
The Uttar Pradesh government said it has launched an inquiry after a purported video of the owner of a private hospital in Agra has surfaced, where he claimed to have cut off the oxygen supply of patients admitted there on April 26. Arinjay Jain, the owner, said they had snapped the oxygen supply for five minutes as part of a "mock drill."
Jain, the owner of Paras Hospital in Agra, was heard saying in the viral video, "We were told that even the Chief Minister cannot get oxygen, so start discharging patients...We started counseling families." "Some were willing to listen but others said they would not leave. I said okay, let's do a mock drill. We will find out who will die and who will survive."
Jain further said in the video the "mock drill" was done at 7 am. "Nobody knows about it." "Then we identified 22 patients. We realized they would die. This was done for five minutes. They started turning blue," he could be heard saying. The private hospital has both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 facilities. The 1.5-minute-long video clip is from April 28, reports say.
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh has denied that 22 patients died that day. He said that on April 26 and 27, seven fatalities were reported from the Paras Hospital. "There was an oxygen shortage on these days, but it was augmented by diverting supply from Mathura refinery," Singh said, according to Livehindustan. He added that an investigation has been launched into the allegations.
The incident has met with sharp criticism from Opposition leaders. Wayanad MP and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the ruling BJP, saying there is a "shortage of both oxygen and humanity." "There is a severe shortage of both oxygen and humanity under the BJP rule. Action should be taken immediately against all those responsible for this dangerous crime," Gandhi tweeted.
During India's dreadful second wave of the coronavirus, dozens of coronavirus patients died due to an alleged shortage of oxygen in various parts of the country. India notably faced the world's worst COVID-19 outbreak, with daily cases peaking at 4,14,000 nearly a month ago. The situation has since improved - The country today logged fewer than one lakh new cases after over two months.