A private hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Agra was given a clean chit on Friday, 18 June, after allegations that a 'mock drill' involving shutting down of oxygen supply had led to the deaths of at least 16 patients.
In a viral video, the owner of the hospital, Dr Arinjay Jain, was allegedly caught bragging about how they shut off the oxygen supply on 27 April for five minutes for a “mock drill” amid the surge in COVID cases during the second wave.
The report cited ‘no proof’ as the reason for giving the clean chit to the hospital.
What Had Happened
Jain was caught on camera reportedly saying that on the morning of 27 April, he had snapped the oxygen supply of critical patients for five minutes to “experiment on who would survive.”
"“We were told that even the chief minister cannot get oxygen, so start discharging patients. Modi Nagar is dry. We started counselling families. Some were willing to listen but others said they would not leave. I said ok, let’s do a mock drill. We will find out who will die and who will survive. So, we did that at 7 am. A mock drill was done. No one knows. Then we identified 22 patients. We realised they would die. This was done for 5 minutes. They started turning blue.”" - Dr Arinjay Jain in the viral video
An FIR has been registered and the hospital was immediately sealed after an investigation by the district administration.
New admissions to the hospital were stopped and the existing patients were shifted to other hospitals, said the district magistrate of Agra.
What the Inquiry Report Says
“On the basis of all the evidence by the investigating officer and the death audit team, it was found that the oxygen of any patients was not stopped. Adequate oxygen gas has been supplied to the hospital on the said day. Patients have died due to the severe stage of their disease and other comorbidities,” said the committee, as reported by The Print.
The panel stated that 16 patients died at the hospital between 26 and 27 April. Seven were COVID-positive, seven were COVID suspected cases and two were COVID-negative.
The deaths, the committee said, were caused “due to the severe stage of their disease and other comorbidities.”
According to the news website, the hospital was charged for violating the Disaster Management Act 2005, and Section 118 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and Section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code for “taking the decision to discharge patients citing lack of oxygen when the epidemic was at its peak.”
(With inputs from The Print)
. Read more on India by The Quint.‘16 Deaths Not Due to Oxygen Mock Drill’: UP Hosp Gets Clean ChitCustodial Deaths in TN: 1 Year On, Wait for Justice Continues . Read more on India by The Quint.