CM reviews Covid scene, hospitals battle oxygen crisis
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday asked the officials to ramp up oxygen supply to all the government and private hospitals in the state designated to treat the Covid patients.
Kumar chaired a high-level meeting with senior officials instrumental in the state’s fight against the pandemic, which had so far claimed at least 2,200 lives over the past one year, and directed them to augment supply of oxygen and vital medicines to arrest the casualty figures that have been rising alarmingly.
While the CM was reviewing the situations in different hospitals, Indira Gandhi Institute Medical Science (IGIMS), a leading state government hospital engaged to treat Covid patients, had been sending emergency calls to the district authorities to replenish the oxygen stock that was about to run out in an hour.
IGIMS director Manish Mandal, who made frantic calls to the Patna district magistrate, could not be reached out for latest update.
Other government and private hospitals faced a similar oxygen shortage in the afternoon, forcing the attendants to take the patients to look for safer hospitals.
Amarendra Malaviya, who admitted his mother at Royal Hospital at Bailey Road, was desperately searching for a hospital with assured oxygen supply. “My mother’s blood oxygen level was hovering 70-75% and I can’t leave her unattended,” said Malaviya, while shifting her mother to another hospital at Boring road.
The chief minister, who visited different parts of the city to take stock of the district administration’s preparedness, asked the officials to stay prepared for further rise in Covid cases.
Principal secretary (health) Pratyaya Amrit made a comprehensive presentation about the department’s strategy to deal with exponential rise in Covid infections. Health department officials informed the CM that they were coordinating with oxygen and medicine suppliers and said that crisis would be over soon. The principal secretary said the delivery system of the department has been strengthened to meet any exigency.
Health minister Mangal Pandey, who had claimed that about 120 metric tonnes of oxygen was being supplied daily to Patna hospitals, did not answer repeated calls over prevailing crisis of oxygen and many essential drugs.
Citing the health department’s figure, the minister said as many as 11,801 persons, out of around one lakh tested, were found to be positive for Covid infections on Monday.
Earlier, on Sunday, 12,795 persons were tested positive.
Deputy chief ministers Tarkishore Prasad, Renu Devi, development commissioner Amir Subhani, director general of police SK Singhal, principal secretaries to the CM Chanchal Kumar and Deepak Kumar, additional chief secretaries, road construction and home, Amrit Lal Meena and Chaitanya Prasad, respectively, attended the meeting, which was a video conference.