A total of 24 patients died at the district COVID-19 hospital situated in Chamarajananagar, 175 kilometers from Bengaluru, after the hospital reportedly ran out of oxygen on Sunday midnight.
According to the district administration, 12 patients admitted to the hospital died due to a shortage in oxygen supply. Meanwhile, the doctors said that the remaining patients died due to various co-morbid conditions. However, the locals alleged that the authorities were falsely reporting the number of deaths and claimed that even non-COVID patients had to face oxygen shortage, resulting in the fatalities.
Taking cognisance of the incident, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has spoken to the district collector and has also summoned an emergency meeting on Tuesday. State Home Minister Basavaraja Bommai, meanwhile, has asked the DGP-IGP Praveen Sood to investigate the matter and submit a report for further action.
"A total of 24 deaths have happened between Sunday morning and Monday morning. While 23 have died in the district hospital, one person has died at a private facility. We can not say that all patients have died due to lack of oxygen," Dr M R Ravi, Deputy Commissioner of Chamarajanagar told The Deccan Herald.
According to media reports, the oxygen plant at the hospital had run short of oxygen by the night of Sunday. The 6,000-litre capacity oxygen plant on the hospital premises can sustain the oxygen needs for 1.5 days, and they ran out on Sunday.
District officials said that the oxygen supply that was due from the neighbouring Mysuru district was not received on time which led to the disaster. However, the Mysuru district administration clarified that 250 oxygen cylinders were sent to Chamarajanagar by Sunday midnight and there was no delay from their side.
"The oxygen liquid was due for supply from Ballari to Chamarajnagar. We do not know whether that has reached the district. As per SOS request from the Chamarajanagar district administration, we have supplied the required oxygen. While the Mysore Southern Gas has supplied 210 cylinders, the Mysuru District hospital dispatched 40 cylinders on Sunday midnight to Chamarajanagar," the statement from Mysuru district administration read.
After the tragic turn of events, relatives and family members of the deceased patients gathered in large numbers outside the district hospital and blamed the officials for the unfortunate incident.
The district COVID-19 hospital is equipped with a total of 24 ventilators, 53 ICU beds, and 55 oxygenated beds.