On Monday, 3 May, 24 patients of Chamarajanagar Government COVID-19 Health Centre were found allegedly asphyxiated. The deaths were allegedly caused by oxygen shortage.
Oxygen supply to the hospital had allegedly dried up between 12 am and 2 am on 3 May.
While 23 patients out of the 24 were reportedly COVID-19 affected, one was admitted in the health centre due to other ailments which required oxygen support. Relatives of patients staged a protest in front of the hospital on Monday.
Speaking to the media a distraught relative said, “Then who is responsible for 24 deaths? A 34-year-old man who married just 2 months ago, called me. When I came here, they did not allow us inside. We would have shifted him to another place. Why did they not inform us?”
Hospital authorities were seen explaining to the angered relatives that they had informed the higher-ups of oxygen shortage. A hospital staff member was caught on camera saying, “Yesterday, I called my superiors and informed them about the situation. Also asked Jagadish Shettar (senior BJP leader) to call and inform that we don’t have enough oxygen. I called to explain it is very difficult to manage”.
Chief Minister of Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa has ordered an enquiry into the incident. An enquiry report is expected to be tabled within three days.
The bodies of the patients were cremated on the same day.