As many as 13 people lost their lives on Tuesday night at the Chengalpattu Government Medical College Hospital in Tamil Nadu, allegedly due to the shortage of oxygen.
According to the reports, 13 patients, aged between 40 to 85, died in quick succession due to the shortage of oxygen at the Chengalpattu Government Medical College Hospital. The sudden death of Covid-19 patients in the DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu has triggered panic among the people in the state. The relatives of the deceased have alleged that a shortage of oxygen had led to the deaths.
However, the hospital authorities have contended that the deaths were not due to a shortfall of lifesaving medical oxygen. Chengalpattu district collector A John Louis denied reports that the deaths were due to oxygen shortage.
“Owing to the increase in the number of infected patients, the GH had to provide 4.5 kl oxygen to the patients yesterday alone as against the daily intake of 2.9 kl. The hospital had adequate (oxygen) stock…Yesterday they had 1.4 kl in the morning, and by evening 5 kl oxygen was refilled. The district administration responded to the request for refill by managing to divert the supplies from three hospitals besides from the government godown,” Louis said.
The hospital has stated that while one patient was Covid positive, the rest of the deceased persons had tested negative, but had other co-morbidities including pneumonia. Some media reports, however, claim that all were Covid patients.
Doctors protests against Oxygen, staff shortage
Meanwhile, doctors of the hospital protested against the state government on Wednesday, demanding more oxygen, more staff. The doctors alleged that healthcare workers were being diverted from their hospital to other areas. Several videos of the hospital have gone viral on social media platforms. In one such video, a woman was seen crying following the death of her husband.
The doctors who participated in the protest said the hospital has been facing oxygen shortage despite having 23 KL capacity tanks. As Covid-19 patients are getting admitted in large numbers, there has been a shortage in oxygen at the hospital for more than a week, the protesting doctor said.
The oxygen stored at the hospital was available for only a few hours on Tuesday noon. Even though the cylinders were immediately used for providing oxygen to the patients, five COVID-19 patients had died by Tuesday evening.
Reportedly, a total of 447 patients are currently admitted at the Chengalpattu government hospital for treatment, out of which 256 are Covid-19 patients. Nearly 191 are suspected to be infected with the virus.