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Monday, June 21, 2021

After ‘mock drill’, Agra admin seals hospital, owner booked

Late Tuesday evening, the owner Dr Arinjay Jain was booked after he was heard in a video talking about an “experiment” of lowering oxygen supply on April 26.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | Agra |
Updated: June 10, 2021 5:50:00 am
Policemen deployed outside Paras hospital in Agra on Tuesday. (PTI)

Shri Paras Hospital was locked and sealed by the Agra administration Wednesday, two days after a video of its owner talking about a “mock drill” where oxygen supply was shut off was shared widely.

Late Tuesday evening, the owner Dr Arinjay Jain was booked after he could be heard in a video talking about an “experiment” of lowering oxygen supply on April 26.

While the families and locals have alleged that 22 persons died due to the “drill”, the administration maintained that there were no causalities.

The FIR was filed under Section 188 (disobedience of official order), 505 (intent to incite) and three sections of Disaster Management and Epidemic Acts. The doctor’s mention of 22 patients turning “blue” or lowering oxygen supply does not find mention in the FIR.

“A video was highlighted on social media in which Dr Arinjay Jain could be heard talking about oxygen not being available at the Modinagar plant and a mention of a mock drill was made. The administration had ensured availability of oxygen in the district through various channels. The statements made by him were against public order,” said the FIR against Jain, the owner.

A team of Agra Health Department officials along with police vacated the hospital on Wednesday until further intimation. Fifty-five patients were shifted to different facilities on a one-day notice, which presented problems for those admitted.

“We understand the administration wants to take action, but families have to deal with the sudden move. My aunt has a pelvis fracture, she cannot move easily. Patients will suffer for no fault of their own,” said Sangprem, a nursing student from Orai.

From CCTV footage to patient charts, all documents and data pertaining to April 26 are in possession of the administration as part of their enquiry. Officials have also asked the hospital to submit oxygen log books to assess the demand and supply, which was the doctor’s justification for the experiment.

Families alleged that the CCTV panel through which they could see their relatives was switched off on the morning of April 26.

“My wife was admitted on April 25 with mild breathlessness. Her SPO2 level was above 85. She could speak and communicate well. There is a TV in the room downstairs where one could see the feed from Corona ward. I got a call at 5 am the following day and the doctors said there is no oxygen supply in the hospital. When I reached, I saw the cameras were off, which was odd. Then a doctor told me my wife had died due to Covid. I realise now she was the subject of the experiment,” said Ashok Singh, a head constable posted in Agra.

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