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Four patients die ‘despite oxygen being available’, Gurgaon hospital faces probe

Officials from the hospital could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon |
Updated: April 26, 2021 2:49:25 am
Covid oxygen, Gurgaon covid hospital, Covid ocygen issue, India covid news, Gurgaon oxygen, Covid deaths, Indian express newsRelatives of COVID-19 patients wait to refill cylinders with medical oxygen, in Gurugram.(PTI)

A probe has been initiated against Kathuria hospital in Gurgaon after officials found four patients undergoing treatment there died allegedly due to lack of oxygen, despite the hospital having oxygen cylinders that could have been used.

“The Executive Magistrate deployed for the private hospital has spoken to Dr A K Kathuria after these allegations emerged, but he has stated that the hospital has 3 hours’ worth supply of oxygen even now,” said a district administration spokesperson on Sunday night.

“Taking note of this matter, where four people seem to have died of a lack of oxygen despite the hospital having oxygen available, Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg has given directions for a probe into the matter. SDM Jitendra Kumar will conduct the probe and submit the report once it is complete,” he said.

Officials from the hospital could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, another hospital put out SOS tweets seeking help following a shortage of liquid oxygen.

“Gurugram’s Metro Hospital Tweets SOS on Oxygen shortage, seeks urgent help. Metro Hospital, Palam Vihar, by Park Group of Hospitals is in its last leg of medical oxygen,” stated the first of three tweets put out from the Park Group of Hospitals handle.

“INOX commitment to replenish liquid medical oxygen remain unfulfilled. Only 1.5 hours to go. Please help us urgently,” stated the second message, followed by a third seeking help “in Saving Lives”.

This is the fourth hospital in Gurgaon in three days to put out such a message in the face of an oxygen shortage — Artemis Hospital had faced the same problem on Friday.

At Metro Hospital, the problem was resolved by the evening, when a tanker reached the hospital around 5 pm.

Officials, however, insisted that the administration is acting “vigilantly and promptly” and said a solution to this problem has been found for now.

Following directions issued by the state government, oxygen allocation for Gurgaon has been increased to 35 tons per day — 20 tons from INOX Air Private Limited in Bhiwadi and 15 tons from Air Liquid Panipat. “The Government of Haryana has also given directions to companies producing oxygen to stop industrial oxygen supply until further directions, except in case of certain select industries…,” said a district spokesperson.

Deputy Commissioner Garg also issued orders on Sunday to constitute a committee “to ensure continuous and smooth supply of oxygen” in the district.

“The committee shall devise a district oxygen plan assessing average requirements of district, individual requirements of hospitals, current availability, and projected requirements in at least next four days. Accordingly, movement of oxygen tankers should be planned. The team should have list of all suppliers and vendors, including Air Liquid Panipat. The committee shall also be responsible for preparing the distribution plan daily, distributing oxygen rationally,” states the order, adding that the plan must be presented to the Deputy Commissioner by 4 pm.

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