Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

UP orders probe into ‘mock oxygen drill’

- Hemendra Chaturvedi

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday ordered an inquiry after a video clip surfaced in which the owner of privately-run Paras Hospital in Agra is purportedl­y heard saying that he conducted a “mock drill” in which oxygen supply was cut off for Covid patients for five minutes.

The state health department has ordered that the hospital be sealed, which it said will be completed after shifting the 55 patients who are currently admitted there. The hospital’s owner, Dr Arinjay Jain, has denied the mock drill.

Uttar Pradesh health and family welfare minister Jai Pratap Singh said, “An inquiry has been ordered into the oxygen supply incident at Paras Hospital in Agra. The hospital has been sealed. The inquiry committee has been directed to submit its report to the state government. On the basis of the report, further action will be taken.”

In the video which went viral on social media on Monday, Dr Jain allegedly said that oxygen supply was stopped for five minutes on April 27 as part of a mock drill. He is also heard saying that bodies of some patients started turning blue after the oxygen supply was cut off, amid allegation­s that 22 patients died subsequent­ly.

He said that he was informed in the last week of April that there was no oxygen which could be supplied to the hospital.

“I was shocked to know about the shortage of supply as there were 96 patients admitted in my hospital. I was told by the supplier that even the chief minister could not arrange oxygen, such was the shortage. I wrote a letter alerting the patients and their caregivers and informing them that oxygen was available for a limited period, thus they (patients) should get oxygen arranged or shift to another hospital as dischargin­g them was

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