After an allegation of deliberately turning off oxygen that left 22 patients gasping, the Uttar Pradesh government sealed a private hospital in Agra on Tuesday and ordered a probe. The ‘mock drill’ was carried out on April 26. A video that surfaced on Monday shows Shri Paras Hospital owner, Arinjay Jain, narrating this story where 22 people “turned blue" and died.
The Uttar Pradesh government has suspended the license of the hospital. Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Virendra Bharti and Dr Sanjeev Verman have been asked to investigate the deaths and submit a report in two days.
Jain denied the allegations on Tuesday and said such an exercise was not done. “An inquiry has been ordered into the oxygen supply incident at Paras Hospital in Agra. The hospital has been sealed. The inquiry committee has been directed to submit its report to the state government. On the basis of the report, further action will be taken,” said state health minister Jai Pratap Singh, in a report by Hindustan Times.
Agra district magistrate Prabhu N Singh ordered that Jain be booked for violating the Epidemic Diseases Act, creating false alarm under the disaster management act and disobeying official orders under the Indian Penal Code. Singh also denied that 22 deaths occurred on April 26.
“Shri Paras Hospital had enough oxygen and it is not true that 22 patients died there due to oxygen shortage. However, the video that is being circulated will be examined and the required action will be taken,” he said. All 55 patients currently admitted to Paras hospital will be shifted out, he added.
The suspension of the license has left attendants of patients in lurch. Our patient was admitted here 15 days ago and there’s no improvement in the condition. We have been asked to sign the patient’s discharge document in order to receive the file. We don’t know where to take patient," Lal Kumar Chouhan, an attendant of a patient said.
Agra | My father had a surgery yesterday & he's yet to be healed. In this critical condition, where do I take him? I urge the administration to give us some time: Attendant of a patient at Paras Hospital (08.06) pic.twitter.com/9tXf2QDSpp— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 8, 2021
Agra chief medical officer (CMO) Dr RC Pandey said he ordered a probe by two additional CMOs and the report will be submitted within two days.
The hospital manager and owner, Arinjay Jain, can be heard saying, “We were told by the chief minister that there will be no supply of oxygen. Modi Nagar is dry. We began to tell families. Some listened, but others refused to leave. Let’s see after doing a mock drill, we will figure out who will die and who will survive. The mock drill took place at seven in the morning, no one knew about it. In five minutes 22 patients died. They began turning blue in five minutes."
The video is said to be from April 28. At the time at least 96 Covid patients admitted to the hospital at the time.