The oxygen crisis in Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) seems to be getting worse as 46 people have died in the last 48 hours, reported News18. The GMCH is the largest COVID facility in the state. So far, 75 people have died at the facility due to a dip in oxygen levels.
Hospital authorities informed the Bombay High Court that 20 patients died in the early hours of Wednesday, May 12. The same day the Bombay High Court termed the situation at the facility grim and asked the state government to take corrective measures, reported The Indian Express. On May 11, the state's Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that 26 COVID people had died at the state-run facility in the early hours that day. The minister had sought a probe by the High Court to find out the exact cause behind the deaths. He also pointed out that most of the deaths occurred between 2 and 6 am, reported The Hindu.
The nightmare began unfolding when 26 people died on May 11. This was followed by 20 deaths on May 12 and 15 deaths on Thursday.
Rane told reporters that there had been a shortfall in the supply of oxygen at the GCMH. However, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant appeared to differ from him and denied reports about oxygen scarcity in the state. On Thursday, May 13, the High Court pulled up the state government over its failure to ensure adequate supply of oxygen.
Doctors Had Flagged Concerns To Dean
Doctors and patients had raised an alarm over the oxygen crisis at the facility. In fact, six days before the 26 deaths at the facility, Goa Association of Resident Doctors had written to the GMCH dean flagging the crisis. On May 5, in its letter to the GMCH Dean, the resident doctors' association had said, "On a daily basis, we read in the news all the higher authorities giving statements that there is no issue of oxygen and beds. The patients then ask the resident doctors on duty… that if there is no lack of beds, why our patient is kept on trolley/wheelchairs/floor and why is our patient not getting oxygen. In the middle of the night when oxygen gets over and patients worsen and sometimes die, it's the junior doctor on duty who has to face angry relatives."