Six Covid-19 Patients Die in MP, Families Allege Oxygen Shortage As Hospital Rejects Charge

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At least six Covid-19 patients admitted at the Shahdol Medical College, Madhya Pradesh, died on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, according to officials, even as the hospital denied allegations of shortfall in oxygen supply. In the past 24 hours, the hospital, around 600km from the state capital Bhopal, has recorded 16 deaths, including 10 on Saturday. Families of the patients admitted to the ICU alleged that the medical oxygen level started to plunge after midnight and there was chaos at the facility treating Covid-19 patients. Dean Dr Milind Shiralkar said the deaths were caused due to critical conditions of the patients, and not because of oxygen shortage. There are 255 patients admitted in the medical college, he added. The medical college administration later confirmed six deaths and also said oxygen tanks had fallen empty and no supplies were received till Sunday morning. District collector Satendra Singh, speaking to over a phone call on Sunday morning, said: "Oxygen supply wasn't an issue as we have sufficient supplies and those who died were critical and succumbed due to comorbidities." Additional District Magistrate who is also the nodal officer for the medical college was on the spot enquiring into the matter, he added. Singh confirmed claimed that medical college in all keeps stock of 300 cylinders and the district hospital has additional 400 cylinders. "The medical college administration did call me at 4.30 am over oxygen supply and I had asked them to pick up cylinders from district hospitals," he added. The officer claimed the district has an oxygen supply from a plant in Jaithari and from Damoh and three tankers reached the district on Sunday. Meanwhile, Congress claimed that the administration was hiding mortalities in Shahdol. MPCC chief Kamal Nath said that after deaths in Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Sagar, Ujjain, Khandwa and Khargone due to oxygen shortage now deaths in Shahdol are due to the same reason. When the state will continue to witness deaths due to the oxygen shortage, he added. Medical education minister Vishwas Sarang said none died of oxygen shortage as all the patents who died were in critical condition. But he assured a probe into the matter. "There is no scarcity of oxygen in any of the state hospital," he said.

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