Lucknow: Controversies swell over an audio statement of a mock drill conducted by a prominent private hospital in Agra which reportedly led to the death of 22 patients. The hospital owner was allegedly caught on audio, stating that the hospital cut off the oxygen supply for five minutes in a "mock drill" on April 26, which added that 22 patients had "turned blue".
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh said in a media statement that there were no reports of death due to lack of oxygen on the audio-recorded day, however, a probe would be called in.
The hospital owner will have to face an inquiry, as the UP government said it will conduct an investigation against the Agra-based Paras Hospital subsequent to the alleged oxygen supply shut off.
Earlier, Arinjay Jain, the owner of Paras Hospital, purportedly claimed that the hospital, which also has a Covid facility, faced an acute shortage of oxygen in the 1.5-minute audio clip, dated April 28.
"We were told that even the Chief Minister cannot get oxygen, so start discharging patients. Modi Nagar is dry. We started counselling families. Some were willing to listen but the others said they would not leave. I said ok let's do a mock drill. We will find out who will die and who will survive. So, we did that at 7 am. A mock drill was done. No one knows. Then we identified 22 patients. We realised they would die. This was done for 5 minutes. They started turning blue," Jain is heard saying in the viral audio clip.
Singh admitted that there was an oxygen shortage and that it was sorted out within 48 hours.
"Initially, there was some panic and shortage but we sorted all that out in 48 hours. In this hospital, there have been seven Covid deaths on the 26th and 27th of April. The hospital also has a lot of other ICU beds. There is no truth that 22 people died but we will carry out an inquiry," the statement cited Mr Singh.
Visuals of people desperately seeking oxygen in April had gone viral, as many hospitals complained of oxygen shortage while the state government had denied the shortage in most cases.