Chamarajanagar hospital tragedy: 24 dead. Who’s responsible?


Suresh Kumar says Mysuru administration failed to supply O2 cylinders on time, Mysuru DC says 250 cylinders had been sent


Tragedy struck Chamarajanagar after 24 covid patients lost their lives allegedly due to oxygen shortage at a government hospital. Even as the magnitude of the disaster could sink in, a blame game had begun. District In-charge Minister Suresh Kumar vented his ire against the Mysuru district administration for ‘failing’ to supply enough oxygen cylinders on time. Kumar demanded strict action against those responsible.

Sources in the hospital said that oxygen supply reduced from 8 pm at the hospital and the situation worsened as there was no oxygen available. Though a new oxygen plant was set up in the hospital, it was not functional.

As a result, the hospital was dependent on Mysuru companies for oxygen.



However, Rohini Sindhuri issued a statement. “We (District Administration) have supplied 250 oxygen cylinders to Chamarajanagar around 12.30 am on Monday. There has been no delay in providing the oxygen cylinders. Totally 210 oxygen cylinders from Southern Gas and 40 oxygen cylinders from the Mysuru District Hospitals were supplied to Chamarajanagar.”

Dr MR Ravi, Deputy Commissioner of Chamarajanagar, said it is yet to be ascertained if all the patients had died due to oxygen shortage.

The issue also took a political turn in no time with the opposition jumping into the ring and slammed Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Former MP R Dhruvanarayana alleged, “We have been alerting the district administration about the shortage of oxygen but they didn’t take our suggestions seriously. Mysuru administration is also to be blamed as they asked a few oxygen suppliers not to supply oxygen to Chamarajanagar hospitals.” Yediyurappa offered condolences to the bereaved. “Deeply pained and shocked by the loss of lives at the Chamarajanagar district hospital. I express my heartfelt condolences to the family members. Government stands firmly with the bereaved families in their hour of grief. I have ordered an inquiry into the matter and strict action will be taken at the earliest against those responsible. We will also ensure that such an incident is never repeated,” he tweeted.

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For some reason, O2 cylinders that were meant for Chamarajnagar were not sent on time on Sunday

–District In-charge Suresh Kumar

Home Minister Basavaraja Bommai, has asked the DGP Praveen Sood to investigate the matter and submit a comprehensive report for further action.

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar who rushed to the Chamarajanagar government hospital and held a 15-minute meeting with doctors said that only three of these patients had died due to lack of oxygen and not 24 as shown by the media.

However, furious family members of the deceased staged a protest in front of the government hospital and shouted slogans against doctors and the state government. Many alleged negligence on the part of doctors.

Green corridors for oxygen supply: CM

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa called a meeting of the oxygen suppliers at his home on Monday, after which he said that the State would request the Centre to ensure supply of allocated quantity of oxygen. Earlier, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had requested the Centre to provide 1,500 metric tonne oxygen every day.

The CM has also directed oxygen suppliers to reduce the time taken to refill oxygen tankers. Green corridors will be provided for faster commuting of oxygen tankers and toll booths will be directed to avoid unnecessary delay. “To increase oxygen supply, we have asked the producers to utilise nitrogen and argon tankers to supply oxygen. In case of emergency, LPG tanker drivers can also be utilised. Oxygen manufacturers and suppliers have been directed to resolve the issues by approaching the officer directly and ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen,” the CM said.

According to proceedings of the Clinical Expert Committee Meeting of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, hospitals should have capacity to store oxygen for at least three days requirement if all the beds are full. Requirement can be calculated by calculating demand as 10 litres/minute per bed for 24 hours.



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Sagar Biswas

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