Bengaluru: 2 patients die due to oxygen ‘shortage’

Bengaluru Two Covid-19 patients died in Bengaluru’s Arka Hospital on Tuesday allegedly due to shortage of oxygen, the hospital management said
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Published on May 05, 2021 12:44 AM IST
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Bengaluru Two Covid-19 patients died in Bengaluru’s Arka Hospital on Tuesday allegedly due to shortage of oxygen, the hospital management said. The incident highlighted the growing scarcity of critical supplies amid the raging pandemic in Karnataka and especially its capital Bengaluru.

Dr Manju Aditya, director of the hospital, said he had raised an SOS call on shortage of oxygen on Monday night. He added that by 3 am on Tuesday, the hospital managed to get the supply of around 15 cylinders.

“During the time of low oxygen (stock), two patients died. Both were severely infected by Covid-19,” Dr Aditya told Hindustan Times.

“We asked in vain for help. We went to neighbouring hospitals and managed to arrange 10 cylinders from them,” he said, adding that there was no supply of oxygen at the plant from where the hospital gets its supply.

The incident came a day after at least 24 Covid-19 patients died in Chamarajanagar district, about 175 km from Bengaluru, allegedly due to lack of oxygen.

At least five private hospitals in Bengaluru have raised SOS calls for oxygen supply since Monday night.

The hospitals that raised the SOS on Monday and Tuesday include Medax, RajaRajeshwari hospital, Sree Saiprasad among others.

With only “stop-gap” arrangements from the government, private hospitals find themselves with full occupancy and no critical medical supplies, to treat Covid-19 patients, according to managements of at least three such establishments.

Meanwhile, Mandya district in-charge minister KC Narayana Gowda on Monday evening said there was a severe shortage of oxygen in the district, about 99 km from Bengaluru.

Amid reports of deaths due to shortage of oxygen, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa has come under sharp criticism for not increasing preparedness of essential medical supplies like oxygen, hospital beds, life-saving medicines and even space to cremate the rising number of dead.

After the incident in Chamarajanagar, Yediyurappa met oxygen manufacturers and suppliers on Monday to fix the teething issues in distribution. But various hospitals claimed that they were yet to get any real assistance from the government.

Priyank Kharge, former minister and Congress legislator from Kalaburagi, a border district that is one of the worst-impacted regions in the state, on Tuesday said that several oxygen suppliers were profiteering from the pandemic.

“While Kalaburagi hospitals are gasping for oxygen & people are dying due to shortage in supply, a private oxygen plant in district has been profiteering by sending O2 cylinders to Maharashtra while @BJP4Karnataka Govt sleeps throughout pandemic,” Kharge said in a post on Twitter.

Gaurav Gupta, chief commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Tuesday sought the help of people to upgrade public healthcare infrastructure.

“Calling out for your support in procurement of oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and NIV ventilators for BBMP healthcare facilities,” he posted on Twitter.

The state government has also been accused of ignoring the warnings of imminent second wave of pandemic by the state-appointed technical advisory committee (TAC) on Covid-19 in November last year.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022