26 patients have died at state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital in early on Tuesday, said Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane. The minister has also sought an investigation by the Hight Court to find out the actual cause of the deaths.
The deaths have been occured between 2 am and 3 am but the actual is not known yet, he said.
Soon after getting informed of the incident the Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant went to the GMCH and said, there is no such scarcity of medical oxygen in the state but the gap between the “availability of medical oxygen and its supply to COVID-19 wards in the GMCH might have caused some issues for the patients”.
Mr Rane however, accepted that there is a shortfall of supply of medical oxygen at the Goa Medical College and Hospital to media persons.
“The high court should investigate the reasons behind these deaths. The high court should also intervene and prepare a white paper on oxygen supply to the GMCH, which would help to set the things right,” Both the state chief minister Pramod Sawant and health minister Vishwajit Rane said after visiting the Hospital.
The health minister also said that the medical oxygen requirement at the hospital as of Monday was 1,200 jumbo cylinders of which only 400 were supplied.
“If there’s a shortfall in the supply of medical oxygen, the discussion should be held about how to bridge that gap,” he further said.
He said the teams constituted of nodal officers set up by the state government should monitor the Covid-19 treatment at the GMCH and should submit its inputs regarding the issues to the chief minister.
The chief also met the patients and the relavites at the hospital wearing a PPE kit.
“There are issues over the availability of oxygen in these wards which need to be sorted out,” said CM. He also suggested for a ward-wise system for smooth supply of medical oxygen.
“Doctors, who are busy treating patients, cannot spend their time in arranging logistics like oxygen. I will hold a meeting immediately to set up ward-wise mechanisms to ensure that oxygen is supplied to patients in time,” Mr Sawant told PTI.
Mr Sawant clarified that there is no shortage of oxygen in the state but the cylinders do not reach their destinations on time and that is what creates the situation problematic.
He assured that the government is making all its efforts to fight the Covid-19 situation.
“We have abundant supplies of (medical) oxygen. There is no scarcity in the state,”said the CM.
The total Covid-19 caseload in Goa stands at 1,21,650 till May 10 with 1,729 total fatalities with an addition of 50 on Monday, said an official.