In an unfortunate incident, 24 patients lost their lives at a district hospital in Chamarajanagar in Karnataka allegedly due to oxygen shortage. Of the deceased, many were availing treatment for COVID-19. Notably, 144 patients were availing treatment at the hospital.
Family members of the deceased staged a protest at the hospital and alleged that the deaths took place due to lack of oxygen.
According to media reports, 250 oxygen cylinders were sent to the hospital from Mysore in the middle of the night as an emergency stock as the oxygen cylinders that were supposed to come from Ballari did not reach the hospital due to a delay in supply.
Karnataka government launches investigation
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has appointed IAS officer Shivayogi Kalasad to investigate the matter. The report into this death has to be submitted to the government within three days.
Karnataka home minister Basavaraja Bommai, meanwhile, has asked the DGP-IGP Praveen Sood to investigate the matter and submit a comprehensive report for further action.
Mysuru MP, Pratap Simha, said, “Last night, when media people drew my attention to the situation of oxygen shortage in Chamarajnagar district, I contacted DC Ravi and took a conference call with ADC who is in charge of oxygen. At night itself I contacted Southern Gas and they provided 15 cylinders. Before that also we had given from the quota. Despite all this, this sad incident occurred. Chamarajnagar is not some faraway place. We feel it is part of us. We are part of their sorrow.”
Rahul Gandhi criticises govt
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, condoling the deaths in the Karnataka hospital, criticised the government for its failure to ensure the supply of oxygen to critical patients. Gandhi tweeted, “Died or Killed? My heartfelt condolences to their families. How much more suffering before the ‘system’ wakes up?”
Notably, India is facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cases and deaths rising rapidly with each passing day.
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