Agra Hospital Which Cut-Off Oxygen Supply To Covid Patients As Part Of 'Mock Drill', Sealed By District Administration

Agra Hospital Which Cut-Off Oxygen Supply To Covid Patients As Part Of 'Mock Drill', Sealed By District Administration

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 9, 2021 06:02 PM +05:30 IST
Agra Hospital Which Cut-Off Oxygen Supply To Covid Patients As Part Of 'Mock Drill', Sealed By District AdministrationA PSA plant

The district administration in Agra has ordered the sealing and closing down of Shri Paras Hospital, a private hospital in the city after a purported video clip of its owner went viral. In the viral video clip, he is seen talking about how the hospital cut off oxygen supply to Covid-19 patients for five minutes as part of a “mock drill”. A probe has been ordered.

The mock drill, he says, was to find out “who will die”. He says that 22 patients were “filtered out” during the mock drill which was an “experiment” -- as they “turned blue”.

Reportedly, he is also heard saying in the video that the hospital feared oxygen shortage, supplies were running dry and they decided to conduct a mock drill to check which patients were critical.

The health department in Uttar Pradesh set up a probe earlier this week into the matter after the owner of the private hospital was caught on camera purportedly saying that he got the oxygen supply of critical patients cut for five minutes on the morning of 26 April.

This, he added, was done "as an experiment to know who all are going to survive".

Agra District Magistrate Prabhu Narain Singh told the Indian Express that the person in the video clip "was the hospital owner Dr Arinjay Jain."

The video was reportedly made on 28 April.

The Indian Express has quoted Jain saying in an interaction with the publication: “We adjusted the bed flow of oxygen of patients just to check what amount was required.

Since everyone had been saying that oxygen must be used judiciously we decided to adjust levels to see if we could use less. We identified 22 patients who required high flow oxygen. We had sleepless nights over oxygen supply and this was our experiment to stabilise supply. We did not cut off oxygen as is being said everywhere. There is no irreversible impact of lowering oxygen supply”.

Singh said four Covid-19 patients died on April 26 and three patients on 27 April.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has raised the issue on social media. Rahul Gandhi has demanded strict action against people responsible for the reported death of patients due to shortage of oxygen.

The district administration ordered a probe by the ADM (City) and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), reports say. The hospital was sealed from 8 June and the district administration has been told to shift the patients to another facility. The district administration is verifying facts and investigations are underway.

DM Singh has added that the 55 patients need to be shifted to another facility. The CMO will look at the shifting of patients.

Kin of patients have been reported to have said that they had noticed that things suddenly went wrong in the hospital on 26 April.

Vishal Sharma, a journalist, has been quoted as saying: “On 26 April morning, the hospital said it did not have enough oxygen supply. The district administration had arranged 22 cylinders, and I thought it would be enough for the day.

At around 4 pm, I saw a policeman wailing as his wife had died. Soon after, they told me that my mother had died. It was clear that the hospital had done something. Otherwise, with enough supply, there would not have been these many deaths.”

Others have alleged that the hospital had been “preparing” for the “mock drill”.

A person is reported to have said that there was "unusual chaos at the hospital premises on the afternoon of 26 April" and now that the video clip is out, it has confirmed their suspicion that the "hospital has been functioning with impunity."

Another person has been quoted as saying: “My aunt was admitted on April 24, and she seemed to be recovering when we spoke to her. But the next day, a doctor informed us that she had suddenly become critical. On April 26, we were told that she had died. It is hard to believe that she became so unwell within a few hours. It is clear that the prior information was part of the preparation. We could not get a chance to save her."

UP Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh has reportedly said that he had received a complaint in this particular hospital. He told ANI: "Inquiry is underway, will let you know once investigation is completed."

Kin of patients undergoing treatment at the private hospital have said that they are facing problems in shifting the patients owing to the sealing of the hospital.

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