Chamrajanagar, Karnataka: A panel report submitted in the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday said 24 patients who were receiving medical treatment in Chamarajanagar district hospital in May died due to shortage of oxygen.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa at that time had ordered a probe into the deaths of patients after interacting with the district collector and had called an emergency Cabinet meeting over the incident.
Over 20 patients, including several suffering from Covid-19, had died at a government hospital in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district on May 2 and 3 allegedly due to shortage of oxygen, District Incharge Minister Suresh Kumar had confirmed on May 3.
The panel report points to negligence of the district administration and the hospital authorities. The report also suggested that the death toll may have been higher. According to the report, 37 people died in the hospital between 11 pm on May 2 and the evening of May 3. But the death audit report of the remaining 13 is not yet available.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Centre, in its written reply in the Rajya Sabha, claimed no deaths due to oxygen shortage were reported by state governments and UTs during the second wave of Covid-19.
“No deaths due to lack of oxygen has been specifically reported by states/UTs. However, the Government of India has supported the States and undertook a series of actions including provisioning medical oxygen, and other consumables to ensure clinical care of Covid-19 patients in view of steep rise of Covid-19 trajectory in the country during April- May 2021,” read the government’s written reply.
“Centre compiles and publishes the data sent in by state governments. Our work is to publish that data and nothing else. We haven’t told anyone to show fewer numbers (of deaths) or less positive cases. There’s no reason for that,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha.
According to the Centre, medical oxygen demand in the country during the second wave peaked to nearly 9,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) as compared to 3,095 MT during the first wave.
#Chamarajnagar tragedy: Karnataka High Court panel submits its report, says Oxygen shortage took place due to failure of DM and hospital management. @Suraj_Suresh16 gives more details. pic.twitter.com/k1zvapiLrH
— India Ahead News (@IndiaAheadNews) July 20, 2021