At least six people, comprising five COVID-19 patients, died at Neelkanth Hospital in Amritsar in Punjab early on Saturday, 24 April, amid a shortage of oxygen at the private hospital, reported IANS.
Family members of the victims said there was no oxygen flowing to ventilators in Neelkanth Multispecialty Hospital, leading to their deaths.
Dr Sunil Devgan, Managing Director of Neelkanth Hospital, told reporters that they had been appealing repeatedly to the state government for oxygen supply.
“Over the last 48 hours, we have used all our resources. We have reached out for help to everybody we could. But if the government doesn't want to help, should private hospitals shut down? Where should we go?” he said, according to NDTV.
Family members of the victims said they were informed late Friday night by hospital authorities that oxygen supply from the government was running short.
"We were told by a nodal official of the health department that the priority of supplying oxygen is to the government hospitals. After that the demand from the private hospitals will be met," a doctor of the hospital told the media, according to IANS.
Will Probe Matter: State
Reacting to the deaths on Saturday, Punjab Minister OP Soni said that an inquiry committee has been set up to investigate the matter. “Amritsar's Neelkanth Hospital authorities should have brought the matter of oxygen shortage to the notice of the Administration,” he said, according to ANI.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the state government would probe the deaths, adding that they would also take action against those who are involved in illegal supply of medical oxygen.
Health Secretary Hussan Lal said that they are probing whether the deaths were caused by oxygen shortage.
(With inputs from ANI, IANS and NDTV.)