The report of the two-member probe into alleged death of 22 Covid-19 patients in a private hospital in Agra due to a “mock drill” to assess the need for Oxygen, has invited the ire of opposition leaders and local health activists.
Largely dismissed by the locals as an insensitive report of the district administration relating to a “mock drill” to cut Oxygen supply by Paras Hospital management, resulting in alleged death of 22 Covid-19 patients in April, social activists and social media warriors in Agra have accused the government agencies of a cover up to salvage the image of the state government.
The district magistrate of Agra, P.N. Singh, is being trolled and targeted. The local branch of the IMA had already given a clean chit to the Paras Hospital, sealed by the district administration, after a hue and cry was raised when a video chat went viral.
The video allegedly showed the director of the hospital Dr Ajinkya Jain, telling someone about a mock drill to assess Oxygen need for patients.
The administration had responded by clarifying that the figure of 22 deaths and shortage of Oxygen on the said dates was incorrect.
While no one in the city except the doctors believes the official report, the administration maintains that the campaign being orchestrated to tarnish the image of the medical fraternity, will not be helpful in the battle against the pandemic.
Perhaps the truth would never be known, though half a dozen complaints by family members of the deceased who died due to Oxygen shortage on the said dates, are still being investigated.
The glaring skewing of the fatality data in general has raised many eyebrows. While the official figure of Covid-19 deaths in the district remains around 425, the number of applicants for death certificates and figures made available by the crematoriums, add up to around 4,000. The figures from rural area are still being collected.
More distressing is the generally callous attitude of the government machinery to respond humanly to accusations of delay in Medicare and prompt Oxygen supply. Available information give a lie to official explanations. “Undoubtedly there was a major health crisis, for a month, with shortage of everything that was needed to save precious lives. Those who were in command of the battle looked lost and were always seen waiting for directions from above. Even now no one seems to have learnt any lessons,” commented an angry family member of eminent environmentalist Shravan Kumar Singh, who could not be saved as a bed with Oxygen could not be arranged for him.