The Uttar Pradesh hospital that allegedly cut off the oxygen supply for five minutes in a “mock drill” in April resulting in the death of 22 people has been given a ‘clean chit’ by the Agra district administration on late Friday night, officials said in a fresh report. The report, absolving the charges against the hospital, says there was no mock drill conducted and the Covid-19 patients who succumbed during that period died due to comorbidities.
According to the report, it was found that “no ‘mock drill’ was conducted as alleged at 7 am of 26th April and out of 16 who died in that period of 26th and 27th April, 14 had co-morbidities”.
The district administration had earlier stated that there were only 7 deaths but admitted 16 deaths on basis of the report submitted. “There was no mock drill conducted on 96 patients admitted and wrong meaning was interpreted of words used in video going viral’ stated the report.
In a video that went viral in April, Paras Hospital’s owner Dr Arinjay Jain, who is not visible in the video, is heard saying in the 1.3-minute audio clip that they were told that even the chief minister cannot provide oxygen so they should start discharging patients.
“Then I decided to try something out – a mock drill of sorts – and asked the staff to identify those whose oxygen supply can be cut. That way, we will get to know who will die and who will survive,” Jain is heard saying in the video.
“The mock drill happened at 7 am, no one knows about this. Twenty-two patients started gasping for breath and their bodies began turning blue. We came to know that they will not survive,” he added.
The report was released by the district magistrate of Agra Prabhu N Singh based on findings of four-member death audit committee and another two-member magistrate enquiry.
The committees also found that there was no evidence of mock drill conducted by stopping the oxygen supply to patients as alleged in the viral video.
“If this mock drill was conducted then there should be 22 deaths on the morning of 26th April but there were no such deaths. There was an ample supply of oxygen. The assessment done for oxygen requirement was the ‘mock drill’,” the report said.
The report added: “In fact symptoms of Hypoxia and Oxygen Saturation level were monitored so that treatment could be done with limited oxygen available. A bedside analysis of every patient was done and it was found that 22 patients were in critical condition”.