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Coronavirus | Lucknow hospital booked for 'false' oxygen shortage notice

Representational Image | The hospital had allegedly put out a notice asking family members of the patients to take them elsewhere because of oxygen shortage.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A private hospital in Lucknow which had put up a notice saying it had a shortage of oxygen was booked on charges of creating “an atmosphere of fear” after the administration claimed it had sufficient stock of cylinders and was trying to hoard oxygen through pressure.

The director of the Sun Hospital was booked under Sections 188 and 269 of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 51 and 52 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases Act in the Vibhuti Khand police station. On May 3, the hospital had allegedly put out a notice signed by its administrator Udit Singhal on social media asking family members of patients who were on oxygen support to take their patients elsewhere. After repeated requests to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and the Central Government “we are not able to get enough oxygen supply,” said the notice.

The Lucknow administration said they carried out an inspection at the hospital but found that the hospital had sufficient supply of oxygen.

In his police complaint, Suresh Pandey, Superintendent of CHC Chinhat, said it was found that the hospital had eight jumbo oxygen cylinders, two B-type filled cylinders and oxygen concentrators. Twenty-five COVID-19 patients were admitted in the hospital, 20 of whom were on oxygen support, Mr. Pandey said.

“After the examination from the medical point of view, it was established that the hospital had sufficient oxygen in proportion to the admitted patients,” the FIR said.

The official also said that on May 1, when it had 18 patients, the hospital had received 26 jumbo cylinders while on May 2, the number of patients was 17, it had got 58 jumbo cylinders.

The action against Sun Hospital comes after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently instructed top officials to take action against hospitals if they found them to be reporting a scarcity of oxygen supply just to "create fear."

On May 4, the Allahabad High Court had observed that the deaths of COVID-19 patients due to lack of supply of oxygen to hospitals “is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen.”

The court made the remarks while asking the District Magistrates of Meerut and Lucknow to verify the deaths of five patients in the ICU of the new trauma centre of Medical College Meerut last Sunday and reports of two hospitals, one each in Meerut and Lucknow (Sun Hospital), allegedly taking their hands off the admitted COVID-19 patients only for the reason that they did not get the oxygen supply despite demanding it.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 6:28:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-hospital-booked-for-false-oxygen-shortage-notice-in-lucknow/article34499335.ece

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