VIJAYAWADA: Eight Covid-19 patients reportedly died due to a shortage in the supply of oxygen in Hindupur Government General Hospital in the early hours of Monday.
According to sources, oxygen supply to patients on ventilators and oxygen masks started decreasing around 5:10 am creating panic among the patients.
Attendants of the patients who noticed the situation, informed the hospital staff about the matter.
Irked by the 'indifferent attitude' of the hospital staff, the attendants broke the windows and rushed to the beds with oxygen cylinders kept on standby on the hospital premises.
Though they tried to administer oxygen, eight patients reportedly died.
Angered over the death of patients, their relatives and family members ransacked the hospital furniture.
Attendants of other patients too rushed out to get oxygen cylinders, fearing that the shortage in oxygen supply might lead to the death of their kin.
Having learnt about the incident, police rushed to the hospital and brought the situation under control, besides regulating oxygen supply.
Blaming the negligence of the hospital staff for the death of eight patients, attendants and relatives staged a protest on the hospital premises with the support of opposition party activists, who rushed to the hospital on hearing the news.
With the situation slipping out of hand, police officials intervened and asked the protestors to leave the place.
Additional forces were deployed to thwart any untoward incident.
GGH Superintendent Dr Diwakar admitted that there was a problem in supply of oxygen for around 10 minutes, but cylinders kept on standby were used as an alternative arrangement.
“All the eight patients were brought to hospital in serious condition. At the time of admission itself their oxygen saturation level was very low. Further, they were all suffering from comorbidities. The death of eight patients was not due to shortage of oxygen,” he explained.
Dr Diwakar said around 200 Covid patients are undergoing treatment in the hospital. Several patients are on oxygen supply. Oxygen cylinders in the hospital are refilled once in two days.
“We thought that the existing stock would last till Monday 9 A.M. But due to increase in consumption, oxygen stock had fast depleted. We supplied oxygen to the patients through an alternative arrangement,” he maintained.
Similar incident of oxygen shortage also took place in Anantapur government hospital a couple of days ago. Two patients reportedly died due to shortage of oxygen.