Lucknow: After a week-long inquiry, the Uttar Pradesh government has given Paras Hospital in Agra a clean chit in the alleged 'mock drill' case that claimed 16 lives, after which oxygen supply was shut off for five minutes, as per an NDTV report.
The inquiry report says no proof of a mock drill and oxygen supply was cut off, and people died in the hospital.
Public outrage arose after the Shree Paras Hospital owner was caught in an audio record, boasting about how they conducted the mock drill on April 27 while the pandemic was raging.
A committee appointed by the Uttar Pradesh government to investigate the incident concluded that none of the 16 deaths at the hospital was out of the mock drill but critical or severe comorbidities.
The investigation committee said that 14 of the 16 patients had some comorbidity, and the remaining showed high HRCT scores (infection in the chest) and inflammatory indicators. The committee added that they found that none of the patients was cut off the oxygen supply with evidence. But the report does not include complaints lodged by at least seven of the families of the deceased.
In the committee report, the investigation officer states that the hospital was given 149 oxygen cylinders with 20 in reserve on April 25 and 121 cylinders with 15 in reserve on April 26. Quoting the hospital owner Arinjay Jain, the committee said that this oxygen stock was adequate for the patients admitted there.
The committee report further quoted Jain that no such mock drill had happened after cutting the oxygen, and nobody's oxygen was cut off, or there was no evidence for that. According to Jain, those are rumours since if it were true, it would have been 22 deaths instead of 16 at 7 am on April 26.
Jain had told the investigation committee that the hospital was concerned about the future supplies of oxygen during that time. So the mock drill was to assess oxygen, and they had monitored symptoms of hypoxia, oxygen saturation levels etc., to determine how to function if oxygen supply is limited. He says that they conducted bedside analysis and found 22 patients were in severe conditions.
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh said on June 8 that there was not death that occurred during the alleged video was recorded but ordered a case to be filed against the hospital under Epidemic Diseases Act and sealed the facility.
Jain had said that his statements were misinterpreted, and they had received instructions from the administration for judicious use of oxygen. On the third week of April, they had categorised their patients as those on high flow and low flow of oxygen.