While Darwinian evolutionary theory may have first introduced us to the phrase "survival of the fittest", a private hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Agra appears to have recently put it to the test. In April, as India fought a horrific second wave of COVID-19, many patients found themselves gasping for breath amid a widespread oxygen shortage. And for the owner of one private hospital in Agra, this was an opportunity to conduct a "mock drill" by shutting off oxygen supply for five minutes.
Arinjay Jain, the owner of Paras Hospital can be purportedly be heard insisting in the audio clip that his experiment was prompted by an acute oxygen crisis, that had prompted them to urge patients to leave. And when some of the patients and their families refused, the idea was born for an experiment to see who could survive without oxygen. As the hospital learnt the hard way,
"Some were willing to listen but the others said they would not leave. I said ok let's do a mock drill. We will find out who will die and who will survive. So we did that at 7 am. A mock drill was done. No one knows. Then we identified 22 patients. We realised they would die. This was done for 5 minutes. They started turning blue," he can be heard saying in the horrifying clip.
Following the audio clip, a probe has now been initiated. The Agra DM however insists that the death toll as suggested by the hospital owner's audio is inaccurate. "Seven patients including COVID-19 infected died in a private hospital due to alleged oxygen shortage on April 26 and April 27. There were 22 critical patients admitted in the hospital but have no details of their death. We'll look into the video surfaced about their death," he assured.
"Have received complaint that there were issues with providing oxygen at Paras Hospital. Inquiry is underway, will let you know once investigation is completed," State Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh told news agency ANI.