COVID-19: Police Raid Indian Hospital, Accuse Doctors Of ‘False Alarms’ Due To Low Oxygen Supplies

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COVID-19: Police Raid Indian Hospital, Accuse Doctors Of ‘False Alarms’ Due To Low Oxygen Supplies


A small private hospital in India’s most populous state is indicted under National Security Law for sounding the alarm on a lack of oxygen.

The director of Sun Hospital in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, told Sky News he was in danger of being arrested at any time and that his business was seized after police laid charges against him.

Akilesh Pandey, who owns and operates the state capital hospital, said four of his patients died in a single day when the oxygen went out.

He says he made repeated calls to state authorities to warn them that his supplies were depleted, but that they did not replenish him with oxygen for 13 hours.

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One of the many burning pyres in a crematorium in Uttar Pradesh

The notice he posted to the hospital on May 3 is still stuck in places around the building.

He said: “After repeated request to UPCM / central government, we are not able to provide enough oxygen, therefore, we ask family members that patients who are on oxygen if you please take their patients to the upper center for more in-depth care. “

Days later, Mr Pandey said police filed a ‘false alarm’ complaint against him, raided his hospital and seized the CCTV system from that day on.

We arrived at the hospital because it was receiving a batch of oxygen cylinders. The hospital’s oxygen flow gauge once again showed it was operating dangerously low.

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Letter posted outside Sun Hospital in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, warning of “acute” oxygen shortages

“I care a lot about my patients,” Pandey told us. “They are my family but that day we couldn’t give them oxygen. “

He showed us the oxygen supply right by the entrance to the hospital.

“These are the five oxygen cylinders we had this afternoon… that would give patients an hour and a half to two hours of oxygen.

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Hospitals across the country face severe oxygen supply crises

“We slightly reduced the pressure flow in order to be able to extend the flow by about three to three and a half hours …”. he told us.

But the oxygen supply ran out by 9 a.m. the next morning – relatives of those who died say it is what killed them.

A young man who lost both his 45-year-old aunt and his 22-year-old cousin recounted how it was like “an endless nightmare”.

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He said he didn’t have time to figure out what was going on: his uncle is still sick with coronavirus in the same hospital and he didn’t have the courage to tell his aunt’s husband who is at the house also suffering from coronavirus.

India has been hit by a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks
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India has been hit by a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks

“My aunt needed a high supply of oxygen, but when the oxygen ended up here she was put on a concentrator but couldn’t get out.

“If there was oxygen, she wouldn’t have died – my cousin wouldn’t have died. “

“It is the government’s responsibility to provide oxygen,” he said. ” It has been done COVID center and government must provide.

“The hospital is doing its best. “

The state’s High Court judges seem to agree, saying last week: “The death of COVID patients just for not providing oxygen to hospitals is a criminal act and no less than genocide. share of those who have been responsible for ensuring continuous supply. and the liquid medical oxygen supply chain. “

We have contacted authorities in Uttar Pradesh for a response, but have not yet received one.

The police indictment of hospital administrators is the latest in a string of draconian measures in Uttar Pradesh that has seen individuals arrested for making SOS calls for oxygen.

State officials have suggested the alarms are causing panic and the situation is under control – even as the region recorded a new record number of daily deaths on Friday.

Authorities have come under heavy criticism for allowing mass rallies during local elections, even as the country recorded world highs in the COVID-19[feminine[feminine infection rate.

Our team drove over 200 miles from New Delhi to Agra, then several hundred more miles to Lucknow – and along the way we found thousands of people flouting the lockdown and covering it up. -night fire being applied only unevenly.

This has certainly contributed to the upsurge in infections and deaths in recent weeks.

Although doctors believe the situation is stabilizing, there are still an unknown number of infections and deaths in this large state which eclipses entire countries in terms of population.

Hospitals in India are experiencing oxygen shortage
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Hospitals in India are in desperate need of oxygen

The sheer size of the state makes it difficult, if not impossible, to compile precise figures.

A substantial number of Uttar Pradesh’s estimated 225 million people live in remote rural areas where there is little or no treatment for the coronavirus.

Resistance to tests for fear of isolating; the lack of access to hospitals or even clinics and the lack of coordinated monitoring of COVID deaths has resulted in widespread skepticism about the official statistics.

Outside Sun Hospital in Lucknow Uttar Pradesh
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Outside Sun Hospital in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Several doctors we have spoken to at various hospitals – in Delhi, Agra and Lucknow – constantly give us the same information about the virus and its variants.

This second wave is different; the variants react differently and the patients develop different symptoms.

Of course, there are some important caveats. All of this information is anecdotal, but with a rapidly evolving and developing disease, those on the front lines – especially Inde – are eager to share whatever they can glean about the disease and its course so that others can react or react more quickly.

According to the range of doctors, nurses and health workers we have spoken to, there is a marked increase in the number of patients with muscle soreness.

Often they don’t even have a cough but a fever.

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How is the India variant different?

The disease appears to be attacking a much younger age group, but it is not yet clear whether this is due to the older age group being the first to be vaccinated.

More and more patients are suffering from diarrhea and eye infections, and a very small number also suffer from kidney problems.

The variants appear to be more aggressive, appear to be more contagious, and weaken the victim much faster.

Dr Akhil Pratapsingh told us, “It looks like the virus is deadlier this time… it looks like it is.

Dr Akhil Pratapsingh describes what's new in India's COVID-19 variant
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Dr Akhil Pratapsingh describes what’s new in India’s COVID-19 variant

“Because the number of deaths is a little higher than the last time … what we also observe is that last year, it took a while for the patient to deteriorate but this virus, the infectivity or the aggressiveness of the virus is so high that it hardly takes a day for the patient, otherwise well, to desaturate and become compromised. ”

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COVID crisis: Indian hospitals overwhelmed

In the crematoriums around Uttar Pradesh that we visited, all workers mentioned a sharp increase in the number of deaths in recent weeks, although it is now showing signs of leveling off.

But they also mentioned how the dramatic increase in funerals did not appear to match official numbers.

We watched a sadhu (a Hindu holy man) perform a ritual around the many burning pyres in a crematorium.

He seemed to be the only person to recognize the many dead here.

We may never get an accurate death toll from the pandemic across India.

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