Relatives of patients and doctors at GMCH made SOS calls as the oxygen pressure started dipping in the Covid wards around 1 am.
Goa’s largest Covid facility Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) reported 15 more deaths between 2 am and 6 am yesterday due to a dip in oxygen supply pressure. The tragedy came despite the Bombay High Court bench in Goa directing the state government to ensure there were no more deaths due to oxygen issues.
Relatives of patients and doctors at GMCH made SOS calls as the oxygen pressure started dipping in the Covid wards around 1 am, reported The Indian Express. Though the officials of the Health Department and police rushed over to help, the oxygen pressure could be restored only after 20 minutes, which proved fatal for 15 patients, the report said.
The High Court had on Wednesday asked the state government to ensure that no more deaths happen due to lack of oxygen. Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had said that the death of 26 Covid patients at GMCH on Tuesday might have been due to oxygen issues. When the court was informed about fresh deaths yesterday, the court said, “We are sorry.”
A resident doctor at the GMCH said pressure in the central pipeline started falling around 1 am yesterday and three patients in his ward succumbed to the fluctuations. On the night of Wednesday-Thursday, there was a drop in oxygen pressure at least five to six times, claimed the doctor.
The doctor said that fluctuations in oxygen pressure had been happening for two weeks now. He said that while corrections can be done easily during the daytime if pressure fluctuates, it’s difficult to control things at night as there were only two doctors in the ward.
The doctor claimed that the central oxygen panel number of the hospital were also dialled but went unanswered.
The state government yesterday told the court that tractors hauled trolleys of oxygen cylinders from Scoop Industries located 15 km away from the hospital and that increasing the supply was difficult.
While the state government has also listed out other logistical challenges in filling the oxygen cylinders at the hospital, the bench said that they are quite pained that such issues give rise to serious consequences to Covid victims. “We expect the state administration to find ways and means to overcome these logistical issues so that precious life is not lost,” it said.
Advocate General Devidas Pangam and Health Secretary Ravi Dhawan had submitted in the court that the Centre has agreed to enhance Goa’s oxygen supply. The court had been informed that Goa needs 40 MT oxygen per day instead of the allocated quota of 26 MT.
According to PTI, Goa had sought the intervention of the Centre to ensure that it got its daily quota of 11 MT of liquid oxygen from Kolhapur in Maharashtra. It claimed that instead of 110 tonnes between May 1 and 10, it had got only 66.74 tonnes from Kolhapur.