Coronavirus: Five patients die in Madhya Pradesh, oxygen shortage blamed
Five coronavirus patients admitted to the ICU of a private hospital in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, died on Thursday night allegedly after its oxygen supply ran out.
The incident at Galaxy Hospital came amid a grave medical oxygen shortage in many parts of the country.
“According to the family members, the patients died after the stock of oxygen got over,” said city superintendent of police Dipak Mishra.
The hospital management, however, was not available for comment despite several calls.
A police team, which was on patrolling duty in the area, reached the spot after receiving information about commotion and loud protests by patients’ relatives outside the hospital.
The relatives alleged that their loved ones died because of lack of oxygen as the stock got exhausted, Mishra said.
“We have set up a four-member committee to probe the deaths,” said district collector Karamveer Sharma in a video message.
The committee comprises a joint collector, a doctor, a senior police official and deputy collector (who has the responsibility of monitoring the medical oxygen supply in district).
The panel will probe why despite regular supply of oxygen the incident took place, the collector said.
Authorities are regularly monitoring the supply of oxygen to government and private hospitals, he added.
According to Mishra, a vehicle which was ferrying 10 oxygen cylinders to the hospital broke down late at night.
A police team was then rushed to the supplier to collect the cylinders.
“Another vehicle was arranged and the cylinders were brought to the hospital,” he said.
Family members of the deceased urged the police to conduct an inquiry.
“We are waiting for a written complaint to start a probe,” the city SP said.
BJP MLA and former health minister Ajay Vishnoi claimed there was no shortage of oxygen in Jabalpur and blamed the hospital for “poor management”.
”The hospital should have made arrangements for the supply of medical oxygen in advance considering the requirement. There is no shortage of medical oxygen in the district,” he said. Congress MLAs Tarun Bhanot, Lakhan Ghanghoria, Vinay Saxena and district unit president Dinesh Yadav lodged a protest with the collector.
Saxena, MLA from Jabalpur North, said they requested the collector to ensure a proper monitoring of the supply. He said private hospitals should enable family members to watch, through live video, the treatment given to the patients.