Updated: August 4, 2021 11:31:19 am
In a status report filed before a Delhi court on Tuesday, police have stated that the death of 21 Covid patients at Jaipur Golden Hospital in April was not caused due to shortage of oxygen. This, even as the hospital maintained that “there appeared to be a linkage between the unusually high number of deaths and… deficient oxygen supply”.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Pranav Tayal filed the status report before Metropolitan Magistrate Vivek Beniwal, who on the last date of hearing had pulled up the police for filing their reply in a “casual manner”.
The present status report, which also has the reply of the hospital, stated , “On scrutiny of death summaries of all deceased persons, it revealed that no death of any patient was caused due to shortage of oxygen.”
However, the hospital told the court that during the relevant time period, oxygen supply was not refilled for 39 hours, which “resulted in a crisis situation”.
On April 22, their liquid oxygen tank had 5.8 MT of oxygen “and the scheduled refill at 5.30 pm on April 23 was not refilled till 11.50 pm i.e. a gap of 30 hours”, the hospital said.
It added, “Though the oxygen was not totally depleted, there was uncertainty of next supply, so the supplement reserve in the form of cylinders was put in use to maintain the uninterrupted supply and oxygen pressure.”
The hospital management also stated that the average mortality per day before and after the incident was only two and three respectively, which increased to 21 within a span of 7-8 hours.
“Resultantly, when this situation ensued, there appeared to be a linkage between the unusually high number of deaths and the common factor i.e. deficient oxygen supply,” it added.
The hospital added that they made frantic calls during the afternoon, but by night the oxygen levels dipped and the liquid oxygen almost got exhausted, following which they had to maintain the supply through oxygen cylinders.
“This has never ever happened in the history of their hospital that the whole regular supply had to be switched to reserves in the form of cylinders. This situation was unprecedented and amounted to an acute emergency occasioned by a shortage of oxygen,” the hospital stated.
After initial scrutiny of patients’ death, prima facie it appeared that in four cases there was a drop of oxygen pressure around 9.45 pm on April 23, which is an unusual occurrence in such numbers, the hospital said.
Family members of the deceased had approached the court claiming that the hospital management should be punished, and alleged that police, with mala fide intention, have neither arrested nor set up an inquiry against them.
In the plea filed through advocates Sahil Ahuja and Siddhant Sethi, the complainants have stated that the hospital management should have stopped admitting patients or have started discharging them if they were low on oxygen supply.
The Delhi government’s expert committee had earlier said that “shortage of oxygen as the cause of death could not be ascertained”.
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