BHOPAL: Shortage of oxygen led to the deaths of 22 Covid patients in last 24 hours at Shahdol Medical College. Patients died due to low pressure of liquid oxygen in ICU ward of the medial college, officials said.
However, the ADM Arpit Verma has denied that all the deaths were due to shortage of liquid medical oxygen.
Twelve patients died due to other reason like co-morbidity till Saturday evening and 10 patients died on Saturday night due to low pressure of oxygen.
"Out of 62 patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward of the medical college's Covid-19 centre, six patients died due to low pressure of liquid oxygen late last night," the facility's dean, Dr Milind Shiralkar, said.
A team led by divisional commissioner Rajiv Verma had visited the medical college on Saturday evening to take stock of arrangements.
He said the liquid oxygen supply at the hospital started running out by late Saturday evening.
"Suppliers were being contacted constantly, but the vehicle could not reach till late night, due to which the pressure of oxygen supplied to the patients was reduced," he said, adding that there is a pressure on suppliers across India for making available medical oxygen.
The oxygen plant on the campus of the hospital has a storage capacity of 10 kilolitres per day, Shiralkar said, adding that liquid oxygen is brought from other states.
Shahdol Collector Satyendra Singh said, “Covid patients died as they were critical. However, oxygen pressure was low but we had back up of jumbo oxygen cylinders so there was no as such oxygen shortage. The deaths are due to their critical condition and not because of shortage of oxygen. We got phone calls from medical college about low pressure of oxygen. We immediately, managed from district hospitals by supply jumbo oxygen cylinders. Another consignment was on way from Damoh. So as such, there is no as such shortage of oxygen. All the deaths of Covid patients are just because they were critical.”
Medical education minister Vishwas Sarang also denied that there was shortage of medical oxygen.
"Spoke to medical college's Dean and learnt that they did not die due to oxygen shortage. They were in critical situation. Had it been due to oxygen shortage, other patients on ventilator would have also suffered," Sarang said adding that they will investigate the matter.
How long the deaths will continue, asks Nath
Taking a swipe, former chief minister and Congress state president Kamal Nath asked the state government how long the deaths due to lack of oxygen will continue in the state.
In a tweet, Nath said, "Now very sad news of deaths due to lack of oxygen is coming from Shahdol? Why didn’t the government wake up even after deaths in Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Sagar, Jabalpur, Khandwa, Khargone due to shortage of oxygen?
After all, how long will deaths continue due to lack of oxygen in the state?"
Terming the situation scary, Nath also said there was a shortage of Remdesivir injections used to treat Covid-19 patients.
He alleged that the key anti-viral drug and medical oxygen were available only on paper and not in reality.
Railways to run 'Oxygen Express'
New Delhi: The Railways will run 'Oxygen Express' over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country, the national transporter said on Sunday.
Amid spiralling coronavirus cases in the country, the demand for medical oxygen in the country has gone through the roof. Empty tankers will begin their journey from Kalamboli and Boisar railway stations in and near Mumbai on Monday to load liquid medical oxygen Vizag, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro, officials said.
Green Corridor is being created for fast movement of Oxygen Express trains," an official said.
Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra state governments had earlier approached the Railways Ministry to explore whether liquid medical oxygen tankers could be moved by the rail network, they said. On the receipt of the request from the two states, the Railways immediately explored the technical feasibility of transportation of liquid medical oxygen.