Delhi submits 'preliminary' report on Covid deaths at Jaipur Golden

On April 23, around 21 critically-ill Covid patients had died at Jaipur Golden Hospital in northwest Delhi due to oxygen shortage.
The Delhi government's report to the high court about not being certain if oxygen shortage led to the death of 21 Covid-19 patients at Jaipur Golden Hospital here could be considered a "preliminary report, prepared just in a day", Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.

"In this particular case, the report had to be submitted in just a day…You can say it was a preliminary report," he said when asked why the Delhi government's panel submitted in the high court that no death occurred at Jaipur Golden Hospital due to oxygen shortage.

"For a final report, we had set up a new committee, which was supposed to investigate all such deaths, including at Batra Hospital…But the Centre got the panel dissolved through the Lieutenant Governor," he added.

The Delhi government's report to the high court had referred to the findings of the expert committee which said, "In view of natural virulent course of the disease and lack of any evidence suggestive of oxygen shortage in the case records, the committee was of the opinion that shortage of oxygen as the cause of death could not be ascertained." "Many of the reported patients had one or multiple co-morbidity like heart disease, diabetes, DM, hypothyroidism and hypertension. All these patients were receiving some form of oxygen therapy and/or ventilator support during the hospital stay," the report had said.

On Wednesday, Jain had said there have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and other places across the country and it was completely false to say no one died for want of the life-saving gas.

He was replying to the Centre's submission in Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and union territories during the second COVID-19 wave.

"There have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country. It was really sad and unfortunate," Jain had said.

The minister had also said the Centre did not ask for data related to such deaths but the government had tried ascertaining the number on its own by setting up the panel.

"The Delhi government had set up a committee to collect data on such deaths and give Rs 5 lakh compensation to the families of the deceased. But the Centre got the panel disbanded through the LG.

"Else, we would have got the exact data as to how many people died due to oxygen shortage in Delhi…I think the Centre disbanded the panel so that they could say no one died due to oxygen crisis," he had alleged.

Delhi battled an acute shortage of oxygen for around in April and May, as hospitals in the capital sent out desperate SOS calls to authorities to replenish their dwindling stocks. Several private healthcare facilities even requested the government to shift out their patients.

On April 23, around 21 critically-ill Covid patients had died at Jaipur Golden Hospital in northwest Delhi due to oxygen shortage.

Batra Hospital in Tughlakabad Institutional Area lost eight lives due to oxygen shortage on May 1.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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