NEW DELHI, May 12: At least 26 COVID-19 patients who were admitted at a state-run hospital in Goa died Tuesday allegedly due to oxygen shortage, officials said.
The deaths took place at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
Local health minister Vishwajit Rane sought an investigation by the high court to find out the cause of the deaths.
“The high court should investigate the reasons behind these deaths. The high court should also intervene and prepare a white paper on oxygen supply to the GMCH, which would help to set the things right,” Rane was quoted as having told reporters.
Rane said the medical oxygen requirement of the hospital as of Monday was 1,200 jumbo cylinders of which only 400 were supplied.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the gap between the “availability of medical oxygen and its supply to COVID-19 wards in the GMCH might have caused some issues for the patients,” stressing that there is no scarcity of oxygen supply in the state.
On Monday evening, 11 COVID-19 patients admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU) at a government-run hospital in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh also died following oxygen supply breakdown.
The deaths have been reported at a time when India is fighting a deadly second wave of COVID-19 and shortage of medical oxygen has emerged as a key challenge for the government.
Ever since the second wave of the infection, similar incidents have unfolded across the hospitals in India in the wake of the shortage of essential medical supplies, especially oxygen.
Meanwhile, the federal health ministry on Tuesday morning said 329,942 new COVID-19 cases and 3,876 related deaths were registered in the past 24 hours across the country.