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YCM Hospital denies death of 10 Covid patients in July last year was due to poor oxygen supply, civic chief orders probe

The issue surfaced at the first full-fledged civic general body meeting held in the presence of corporators on Tuesday.

Written by Manoj Dattatreya More | Pune |
Updated: March 10, 2021 10:06:31 pm
YCM Hospital has 430 beds, including 55 intensive care unit beds for Covid patients. (Photo: www.ycmhpgi.org)

The Yeshwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital has once again denied allegations that 10 Covid-19 patients had died due to “poor oxygen supply” in July last year. Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil has now ordered an independent probe into the issue.

The issue was raised by BJP corporator Tushar Kamthe at the first full-fledged civic general body meeting held in the presence of corporators on Tuesday.

“The contractor himself had confessed that he had taken a shut down in July for one day. In a video gone viral, he is heard saying that the pipelines were too small to carry heavy load of oxygen and therefore oxygen could not reach the system. As a result, patients suffered from breathlessness and succumbed to it,” Kamthe told The Indian Express.

Responding to the allegation, YCMH dean Dr Rajendra Wable said on Wednesday, “This issue had surfaced last year also. We had clarified that there was no connection between the death of Covid-19 patients and oxygen supply. If there was poor oxygen supply, then not 10 but more patients would have died.”

He added “It is true that a shut down was taken in July. But this was because we were expanding our system and adding more oxygen beds. To fix the system, we had to take the shut down.”

Dr Wable said in June, July and August last year, there were a large number of Covid-19 patients as well as deaths in the hospital. “The 10 deaths that occurred on that day were routine. On other days too, we had experienced the same as serious patients and those who arrived late were succumbing to Covid-19. However, I would like to say that YCMH death rate has been lowest among all the hospitals in Pune, which is a well-documented fact,” he said.

PCMC chief Rajesh Patil said, “I have heard the demands made by corporators regarding a probe in the functioning of the hospital. I will initiate an independent probe into the matter and place a report at the civic general body meeting”.

Patil said when Covid-19 cases were rising, the civic administration had initiated a number of steps and implemented several measures to keep the situation under control. “However, it seems some officials as well as outsiders tried to take advantage of the situation. The possibility of mistakes can’t be ruled out when certain measures are being implemented. We can learn out from it… In the meantime, we will conduct a probe and place the facts before the House,” he said.

The commissioner’s directives about a probe came following orders from Mayor Usha Dhore who sought strict action.

A senior BJP corporator, however, said, “Some corporators who do not get tenders for their companies floated in the name of their friends and relatives are in the habit of making false allegations against the administration, It is important that the administration considers these facts in totality and be aware..”.

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