LUCKNOW: A prominent private hospital in Agra was sealed on Tuesday and a case registered against its owners and management following reports of oxygen supply having been deliberately stopped for 96 patients at the hospital for five minutes in April to find out who will survive and die in need of oxygen.
The action was taken against Agra-based Shri Paras Hospital after a clip went viral in which the hospital's owner is heard purportedly saying that a mock drill was conducted one morning at 7 am by cutting off the oxygen supply to 96 critical patients, just to figure out which patients would die and who all will survive in the need of oxygen.
The video which dates back to last week of April 2021 pertains to April 26/27 when there was acute shortage of Oxygen.
In the video, the hospital owner Arinjay Jain is heard purportedly saying that "I was told by Oxygen suppliers, that there is no oxygen supply anywhere, Modi Nagar is dry, even the CM cannot get you Oxygen. Only option is to start discharging patients."
"The patients attendants weren't ready to get their patients discharged despite acute Oxygen shortage. So we decided to do a mock drill for finding out which patients will survive and who'll die in absence of oxygen. At 7 am, the oxygen supply was made zero for five minutes, which led to 22 patients turning blue. This helped us to trace which patients will die due to absence of oxygen," he added.
However, the hospital owner tried to clarify on the matter, after the audio-visual clip went viral. "The video and audio in the clip has been distorted. No one died at the hospital at that time," Jain clarified on Tuesday.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the Uttar Pradesh government ordered a probe in the matter and also directed the Agra district administration to lodge an FIR against the hospital owner-management.
According to the Agra district administration's statement, the video dates back to April 28. Also, preliminary probe has revealed there was no oxygen shortage at the concerned hospital between April 25 and April 27. Only seven deaths of COVID patients were reported there on April 26 and 27, but none of them happened due to oxygen shortage.
A case has been registered against the hospital ownerand the management under provisions of the Epidemic Act and the hospital has been sealed. The 56 patients admitted at the hospital have been safely shifted to other hospitals before sealing the building, the district administration's official statement added.
Agra district magistrate Prabhu N Singh said that as part of the probe, the video clip too will be examined.
Meanwhile Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted on the matter and demanded action against the guilty people. He wrote, "There is a severe shortage of both oxygen and humanity in the BJP regime. Action should be taken immediately against all those responsible for this heinous crime. My condolences to the families of the deceased in this hour of grief."