'Supply to wards might have caused some issues': Goa CM Pramod Sawant on death of 26 COVID-19 patients at govt hospital
(Photo by AFP)

Panaji: There is grim news from Goa -- 26 patients succumbed to Covid at the State-run Medical College and Hospital in the wee hours on Tuesday. The curious thing is that no one was wiser in the morning with Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane saying that a judicial probe was needed to ascertain the exact cause of death. He said these fatalities occurred between 2 am and 6 am "which is a fact" but remained evasive about the cause.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who visited GMCH, was more forthcoming and said the gap between the "availability of medical oxygen and its supply to COVID-19 wards might have caused some issues," even as he stressed that supply of oxygen is not erratic in the state.

Speaking to reporters, Rane, however, admitted to the shortfall in the supply of Oxygen at the GMCH.

‘‘The high court should investigate the reasons behind these deaths. The court should also intervene and order that a white paper be prepared on oxygen supply to the GMCH," the health minister said after the CM's visit to the hospital.

Rane said the medical oxygen requirement of the facility as of Monday was 1,200 jumbo cylinders of which only 400 were supplied. "If there's a shortfall in the supply of medical oxygen, a discussion should be held on how to bridge that gap," he said.

"Doctors, who are busy treating patients, cannot spend their time in looking into logistics like oxygen. I will hold a meeting immediately to set up ward-wise mechanisms to ensure that oxygen is supplied to patients in time," Sawant told reporters.

The CM said there was no dearth of medical oxygen but the problem arises sometimes as these cylinders do not reach their destinations on time.

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