Sunday, May 09, 2021

Health

Deaths in Goa due to oxygen shortage? Cong wants CM booked

IANS | May 03, 2021 10:33 AM

PANAJI: A letter written by government resident doctors to a top health official, claiming that patients were dying in Goa's Covid facilities due to shortage of oxygen has triggered a political war of words in the state.

A day after the letter written by the Goa Association of Resident Doctors leaked into the public domain, the Congress has now demanded that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should be booked for culpable homicide on account of the alleged deaths.

"It is shocking to know that the oxygen supply in various Covid wards is not even close to sufficient. There is no adequate supply of oxygen from the central system which hampers effective functioning of ventilators and other medical equipment, " state Congress president Girish Chodankar said on Monday.

The Goa Medical College is the apex government health institute in the state. The letter written by the resident doctors' association was addressed to the dean of the medical college Dr Shivanand Bandekar.

"Government authorities need to book Chief Minister Pramod Sawant holding him responsible for deaths of innocent patients under culpable homicide, " Chodankar also said.

In the letter, the resident doctors had complained about lack of oxygen beds at the Goa Medical College and that several patients had died in the facility due to lack of oxygen.

"The oxygen supply in various covid wards is not even close to sufficient. The central oxygen flow delivers very low flow oxygen at times and that is inadequate to keep NIVs and ventilators working effectively. Also, the oxygen cylinders being used for patients get over in the middle of the night and it takes at least 2-3 hours for replacement cylinders to come and sometimes more than that and for this time period, the patients are kept without oxygen with saturations dropping to less than 60 per cent, " the letter said.

"In the middle of the night when oxygen gets over and patients worsen and sometimes die, it's the junior doctor on duty who has to face angry relatives, " the letter also said.

Sawant claims that this government is looking to up oxygen generating capacities across the state.

"We will have the state's first oxygen generating plant in 15 days. We are ensuring there will be no shortage of oxygen, " Sawant said.

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