The Uttar Pradesh government ordered an inquiry into the deaths of at least 22 patients admitted in a private hospital in Agra after the owner of the hospital was allegedly caught on camera saying that the oxygen supply of critical patients was withdrawn as 'an experiment'.
Nearly 22 COVID & non-COVID patients died at Agra's Paras Hospital on April 26, after the authorities allegedly cut the oxygen supply for a 'mock drill' for five minutes. The shocking claim was made by the hospital owner, Dr Arinjay Jain, reported LiveHindustan.
Jain, in a video, can be heard saying that that he got the oxygen supply of patients cut, as a part of an experiment, to know who all would survive. The video clip has been widely circulated on social media and has triggered massive controversy, with many calling it a medical murder.
He further said that the hospital administration had asked the patients' families to get them discharged, as there was an acute shortage of oxygen on the day, but everyone refused.
"So I decided to experiment, a mock drill of sorts. We snapped the oxygen supply for five minutes on April 26, at 7 am. Twenty-two patients started gasping for breath, and their bodies began turning blue. So we came to know that they will not survive in case there is no oxygen - Samajh jayenge kaunsa marega, kaunsa nahi marega. Fir mock drill karai, ye kisi ko pata nahi hai. Sunn Kar diye sabke, chadh gaye 22," Jain could be heard saying in the video.
The rest of the 74 patients who were in the ICU ward survived, as they brought oxygen cylinders at their own expense, he added.
Speaking to the media, Jain said his statements were misunderstood. The doctor said they conducted the mock drill to identify the critical patients and save them. Jain said only four COVID patients had died on the day and denied the reports of 22 fatalities.
District magistrate Prabhu N Singh told the media that seven patients, including COVID infected, had died in the hospital due to alleged oxygen shortage on April 26 and 27, which was later increased after diverting supply from the Mathura refinery, reported NDTV.
After the recent video, Singh said the investigation into the matter is underway.
Taking cognisance of the issue, state Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh said that he has ordered the authorities to initiate stringent action against the people involved.