Tamil Nadu

Deaths due to technical faults: Minister

Tamil Nadu, Chennai, 30/05/2021 : Medics attend to a suspected COVID-19 oxygen support patients near the ambulance at Tower-3, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) in Chennai on Sunday. Photo : Jothi Ramalingam .B / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The death of a few patients at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, the Government Chengalpattu Medical College Hospital and the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital in April and May were not due to oxygen shortage, but due to faults in the oxygen pipelines and lack of pressure, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian has said.

“All three incidents occurred during the AIADMK regime but were not due to oxygen shortage,” he said. He was responding to a question on AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam’s demand for a clarification on the statements made by the Chief Minister and the Minister himself on the deaths due to oxygen shortage. “There was no death due to oxygen shortage after the DMK came to power,” he said, referring to his statement made a few days ago.

As for Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s letter to the Prime Minister on May 7, Mr. Subramanian said Mr. Stalin wrote that “the availability of oxygen in Tamil Nadu is very critical, and there was an unfortunate incident of 13 deaths at Chengalpattu two days ago.” “The letter was written on May 7, and the incident occurred on the night of May 4 when the AIADMK was in power,” he said.

It was during the same AIADMK regime that four persons died at the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital on April 19 and two persons died at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital on April 6, he said.

“All these deaths were not due to oxygen shortage. When the incident occurred at Government Vellore Medical College Hospital, 460 patients were on oxygen support and 10 kl oxygen was available. At Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, when the two persons died, 1,200 patients were on oxygen support and 20 kl oxygen was available. Similarly, 310 patients were on oxygen support at Chengalpattu and 10 kl oxygen was available,” he said. “The Health Department has said all these deaths were due to technical faults...,” he said.

Mr. Subramanian held a meeting with 137 private hospitals from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Vellore and Ranipet on buying COVID-19 vaccines with corporate social responsibility funds. Private hospitals had so far procured 18,70,520 doses, of which 13,31,613 doses had been administered. They had 5,38,907 doses in hand, he said. About ₹2.5 crore was pooled in under the CSR funding, he said, adding that the Health Department would release details of firm-wise contributions and tie-ups with hospitals.

Vaccination in the tribal areas of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri would start next week, he said.


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 2:58:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/deaths-due-to-technical-faults-minister/article35501514.ece

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