Another disaster struck Delhi earlier today when at least 12 people lost their lives in Batra Hospital in Mehrauli. According to hospital authorities, the deaths were a direct result of the shortage of oxygen in the hospital.
It is pertinent to note that Batra Hospital had started raising alarm regarding the shortage of oxygen since Saturday afternoon, and not much after, the news of the hospital running out of oxygen and the subsequent deaths were reported.
The executive director of Batra Hospital released a video that was reported by NDTV at 1:00 PM. In the video, he was heard saying that they had run out of oxygen and were surviving on some oxygen cylinders. He said that the Delhi government was trying to help them out but it was believed that the oxygen tanker was far away. He said that they had oxygen reserve only for the next 10 minutes.
Almost immediately, just as NDTV tweeted, AAP MLA Raghav Chadha tweeted that the oxygen was reaching the hospital in the next 5 minutes. Raghav Chadha had tweeted at about 1:16 PM.
Our SOS cryogenic tanker carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen is reaching Batra Hospital within 5 minutes. Their regular supplier of oxygen has defaulted yet again due to alleged 'lack of oxygen supplies' and is being pulled up. https://t.co/3olhhKq9iU— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) May 1, 2021
However, Raghav Chadha’s promise of oxygen reaching the hospital within 5 minutes seems to have been an empty promise. The oxygen did not reach the hospital and in the next 2 hours, news surfaced that 12 people have lost their lives due to oxygen shortage.
As soon as the news surfaced, Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, took to Twitter to play politics over the death of 12 people. He pushed the blame onto the centre for not providing oxygen to Delhi.
ये खबर बहुत ही ज़्यादा पीड़ादायी है। इनकी जान बच सकती थी -समय पर ऑक्सिजन देकर— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 1, 2021
दिल्ली को उसके कोटे की ऑक्सिजन दी जाए। अपने लोगों की इस तरह होती मौतें अब और नहीं देखी जाती। दिल्ली को 976 टन ऑक्सिजन चाहिए और कल केवल 312 टन ऑक्सिजन दी गयी। इतनी कम ऑक्सिजन में दिल्ली कैसे साँस ले? https://t.co/h7C5bcFtD6
While AAP played politics and pushed the blame onto the Modi government, a video has now surfaced where a doctor of Batra Hospital spoke on news channel News 24 where he pinned the blame of the deaths and the oxygen shortage squarely on the Arvind Kejriwal government.
In the video, the doctor reveals that the SOS calls for oxygen were being made by the hospital since 7 AM on Saturday to nodal officers. When asked which government officials he is talking about and whether the hospital was in touch with the AAP government in Delhi or the central government, the doctor squarely says that the hospital has no contact with the central government and they were in touch with officials of the Arvind Kejriwal government.
He reiterates that health is a state subject of the Delhi government and says that private hospitals in Delhi are governed and led by the Arvind Kejriwal government at the state level and not the central government. He says that it has been 14 months since the COVID-19 pandemic started and from the beginning, it was known that oxygen is a requirement for COVID-19 treatment.
He, in the duration of the discussion, questions the Kejriwal government and asks that in the 14 months, how much has the Delhi government tried to increase the production of oxygen. The doctor says that whatever oxygen was made available to the Delhi government, it was their responsibility to ensure that the oxygen is transported effectively to the hospitals that need it, however, that was not done.
He then appealed the government to stop the fighting and Delhi needs to become “atmanirbhar” and start building plants that can produce oxygen for Delhi itself.
While the Delhi government, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, have tried their hardest to blame the Modi government, Batra hospital officials are placing the blame of the deaths squarely on the Delhi government.