24 COVID patients die in Karnataka hospital as oxygen supply dips

A senior official at Chamarajanagar said the tragedy struck following a fall in oxygen supply between midnight and 2 am Sunday night

Family members of the deceased told the media that all the 24 persons were either on ventilator support or on beds with oxygen supply. PTI File Photo

Oxygen supply shortages continue to wreak havoc across the country: 24 patients under treatment for COVID at government hospital in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar died as the oxygen supply allegedly stopped. The state government has ordered a probe into the reason for the deaths.

Media quoting family members of the deceased said that all the 24 persons were either on ventilator support or oxygenated beds and that disruption in oxygen supply led to their deaths.

A senior official at the hospital said the deaths occurred following a fall in oxygen supply between midnight and 2 am Sunday night. At least 144 patients are under treatment at the hospital.

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Chamarajanagar district commissioner MR Ravi had earlier reportedly claimed that there was no oxygen shortage, and that most of the deceased were on ventilator support and others had co-morbidities that led to the deaths. However, he did concede that the deaths were due to oxygen shortage.

Also read: Amid shortage, SC asks Centre: ‘What’s the national plan on oxygen?’

Late night Sunday, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha arranged 50 cylinders from Mysuru after learning that the current stock would be exhausted by 2 am.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ashwathnarayan C N tweeted: “Pained to learn about the incident in Chamarajanagar. My heart goes out to families who have lost their loved ones. Our govt is investigating the incident. Saving citizens’ lives is our top priority. We are working on a war footing to ensure availability of oxygen in all districts.”

Two days back on May 1, 12 COVID patients admitted in the ICU of Delhi’s Batra hospital in Mehrauli died as hospital authorities linked the casualties to the oxygen shortage. Among the deceased was the hospital’s gastroenteritis head Dr R K Himthani (62).

Also read: To check shortage, Centre says no curbs on movement of oxygen cylinders

The hospital had 327 patients out of which 48 were in the critical care unit. It has been raising alarms since Saturday afternoon over depleting levels of oxygen supply. Around 12.30 pm, the hospital claimed it had run out of liquid medical oxygen supply. An oxygen tanker reached the hospital around 1.35 pm.

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