In one more unfortunate event, eleven Covid patients died due to lack of oxygen at a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati on Monday. Patients were in ICU wards of the hospital and died after the oxygen supply was disrupted. Disturbing visuals of the horror was captured in camera inside the wards at SVR Ruia Hospital as medical staff tried to save lives.
The deaths have been reported at a time when India is grappling with the unprecedented second wave of deadly Covid-19 pandemic that has led to the shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds, medicines and vaccines.
Even as families of patients alleged that the oxygen supply was disrupted for about 25-45 minutes, Chittoor District Collector M. Hari Narayanan said there was a five-minute lag in reloading the oxygen cylinder that caused the pressure to drop, which led to the deaths.
The oxygen supply was restored within five minutes and everything is now normal. We have connected bulk cylinders and there is no reason to worry. A major disaster was averted because of quick action by medical staff, he said.
The delay in arrival of oxygen tanker from Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu had triggered the crisis, he further said. The hospital has a capacity of over 1,100 beds; there are over 100 patients in the ICU, and 400 on oxygen beds. About 30 doctors were immediately rushed into the ICU to attend to the patients.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has condoled the deaths and ordered a probe into the incident.
Andhra Pradesh reported over 22,000 infections on Monday, taking total caseload of the state to 12.87 lakh.