11 COVID patients die in Tirupati's Ruia Hospital due to disruption in oxygen supply

According to District Collector Hari Narayanan, an oxygen tanker coming to the hospital from Chennai in Tamil Nadu was delayed.

Published: 10th May 2021 11:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2021 01:13 PM   |  A+A-

Eleven patients died and the condition of several others was critical after oxygen supply was disrupted for some time at the SVR Ruia Government Hospital. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

TIRUPATI: Eleven patients died and the condition of at least five others was critical after oxygen supply was disrupted for some time at the SVR Ruia Government Hospital here Monday night.

According to Chittoor District Collector M Hari Narayanan, an oxygen tanker coming to the hospital from Chennai in Tamil Nadu was delayed. The authorities in the meantime used bulk cylinders to supply oxygen to patients who were on ventilators in the ICU.

"The incident occurred around 8-8.30 p.m. Due to oxygen pressure issues, 11 patients who were on ventilator support lost their lives. This happened in a span of five minutes. The oxygen tanker arrived and the situation was quickly brought under control," the collector told the media.

Around 30 doctors were working to stabilise the other patients following the incident. The collector, who rushed to the hospital, assured everyone that the problem was solved and there was enough oxygen now. Further, another tanker is scheduled to arrive in the morning with additional oxygen supply.

Hari Narayanan said a bigger tragedy was averted as the oxygen tanker arrived in the nick of time. "There is no issue now and there is no need to worry. Everyone is safe," he said and clarified it was not a technical issue.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed profound grief over the death of 11 patients and ordered an inquiry into the incident. He directed the officials to ensure that this kind of tragedies does not recur. He instructed them to monitor the oxygen supply situation at every hospital in the State round-the-clock and take technical help from the experts. He stressed that the focus should also be on maintenance and not merely on oxygen transportation and supply.


There are 700 oxygen beds in the hospital. The oxygen supply was disrupted or rather the pressure went down in one of the wards when the authorities were trying to supply oxygen using bulk cylinders. Anxious relatives of patients argued with the authorities and chaotic scenes were witnessed with some enraged kin throwing medicines and bottles inside the hospital.

Amid the pandemonium, doctors made frantic efforts to save lives. The situation was brought under control soon after the oxygen supply was restored. Additional police personnel were rushed to the hospital to prevent any untoward incidents.

Deputy Chief Minister (Health) Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas spoke to the hospital superintendent Dr Bharathi and inquired about the incident. He was informed that the condition of five patients was serious. Three of the dead were non-Covid patients. Outside the hospital, heart-rending scenes unfolded with relatives breaking down upon receiving the news of the death of their loved ones.


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