In one of the worst incidents of its kind in India, 26 corona virus patients died in Goa Medical College and Hospital between 4:00 AM and 6:00 AM on Tuesday (May 11) after the disruption of oxygen. Unconfirmed reports said that at least 22 more had lost their lives in similar circumstances in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The tragic aspect of this latest incident is that the authorities are conceding that everyday several patients are losing lives due to disruption of oxygen in early hours of the day in this hospital.
The Goa High Court on Wednesday pulled up the state government and asked that it ensure that no such death occurs further. In all 75 COVID-19 patients died in Goa on Tuesday itself.
Ironically, Goa could not get the due media coverage though the situation appears to be equally bad as in neighbouring Maharashtra and Karnataka, the two worst affected states.
The magnitude of the tragedy can be measured from the fact that it is the state chief minister, Pramod Sawant (of the BJP), who is acknowledging that the deaths of 26 patients at the Goa Medical College could have been caused due to oxygen shortage. He has ordered for an inquiry by the High Court.
The chief minister attributed the disruption of oxygen to the logistic problems such as transportation and shortage of drivers and trolleys.
The Dean of GMCH conceded that the hospital is facing 30-40 per cent shortage of oxygen, which is in no way a small amount.
The positivity rate in Goa is between 40 and 50 per cent, which is the highest in the country, where it is 17.5 per cent.
Goa is a favourite tourist destination, that is why according to the local media, the government delayed the imposition of lockdown. Tourists from India and abroad have also been blamed for the spread of the pandemic.
In the last 24 hours India reported 3.48 lakh fresh cases with over 4,200 deaths.