Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday slammed the government over reports that a private hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Agra allegedly cut off oxygen supply for five minutes in a "mock drill" in April. Priyanka Gandhi also tweeted the video in which Dr Arinjay Jain, the owner of Paras Hospital, is heard saying that the oxygen supply was cut off for five minutes and 22 people died during that period.
"There is a severe shortage of both oxygen and humanity under the BJP rule. Action should be taken immediately against all those responsible for this dangerous crime," Rahul Gandhi also posted on Twitter. "My condolences to the families of the deceased in this hour of grief," he added.
"PM: 'I made sure there was no shortage of oxygen' CM: 'There's no shortage of oxygen. The property of those spreading rumours about shortage will be confiscated.' Minister: 'Give just enough oxygen patients need. Don't give too much oxygen.' Agra hospital: 'There was no oxygen. Mock drill was conducted by turning off oxygen for 22 patients.' Who's responsible?" Priyanka Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
Paras Hospital's Dr 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 7am, 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.
Officials in Agra said they have ordered a probe after the video surfaced and district magistrate Prabhu N Singh denied that 22 patients died that day. "Seven patients, including Covid infected, died in a private hospital due to alleged oxygen shortage on April 26 and 27 There were 22 critical patients admitted in the hospital but have no details of their death. We will look into the video which has surfaced about their death," Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Chief medical officer Dr RC Pandey also said only seven patients died in the hospital during that period and the the health department has began an investigation into the issue.