'We had No Info on O2 Shortage, Would Have Arranged,' Say Kin of Golden Hospital Tragedy Victims

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Hours after the death of 20 COVID-19 patients at the Jaipur Golden Hospital here due to a shortage of oxygen on Saturday, the family members of the victims were still looking for answers.

“My 34-year-old sister-in-law was recovering well. The hospital management did not tell us anything about the oxygen shortage. If it had, we could have tried to manage oxygen at our end, like we did for the plasma and other things. They were only bothered about their bills, nothing else,” a teary-eyed Hari Singh Tomar said, adding that the family had mortgaged its house for her treatment.

According to the hospital’s medical director, DK Baluja, the reason behind the deaths of the “critically-ill” patients was a “dip in the oxygen pressure”. The incident took place a day after 25 patients died at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, one of the city’s biggest and most high-profile healthcare facilities.

Another grieving family member said he cannot believe his younger brother is no more. He claimed that his brother was doing fine and that he had spoken to him over the phone on Friday night.

“I had a conversation with him at 8 pm on Friday. He was doing fine. He was in the ICU but not on a ventilator. His oxygen saturation level was 92. I do not know what happened and this is what we want to know from the hospital now,” said the brother of deceased Dinesh Kataria (38).

Kamal Khera, who lost his brother and sister-in-law in the tragic incident, complained that the hospital did not tell him or any other family member anything about the oxygen shortage.

“They did not tell us anything. I came to the hospital and they told me that my brother and sister-in-law have died and asked me to wait for their bodies. They just made us fill forms and pay bills, nothing else,” he said.

The city has reported nearly 2,500 deaths due to the deadly virus in the last 12 days alone. Authorities have now expanded a crematorium in southeast Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan area, according to officials. Arrangements have been made to cremate the bodies of COVID-19 victims at a park located inside the crematorium, they added.

Delhi recorded the highest single-day rise in its COVID-19 death toll with 357 more people succumbing to the viral disease on Saturday as well as over 24,000 fresh cases.

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