Update: The owner of the hospital has denied that 22 people have died at Paras Hospital in Agra
#WATCH | Dr Arinjay Jain, owner of Agra's Paras Hospital, who is in centre of a controversy over a viral video, says, "There was mock drill. We conducted a clinical assessment to check how we can maintain a patient at minimum level of oxygen. News of 22 deaths are baseless". pic.twitter.com/8UZNBiwVzQ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 8, 2021
Oxygen was available at the hospital on Apirl 28 (when video was shot). Agra is a small city. There would an outcry if 22 patients die at a hospital. No patients died due to oxygen shortage that day: Agra DM Prabhu N Singh on Paras hospital matter pic.twitter.com/eJfkkw7To0— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 8, 2021
In the video, he said there was no oxygen production at Modinagar plant, which is not true. He has been booked under epidemic act & Section 188 of IPC because such talks create fear among public. The hospital will be sealed after moving hospital patients: Agra DM Prabhu N Singh— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 8, 2021
Agra: Patients being shifted from Paras Hospital to other hospitals in the presence of police.— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 8, 2021
According to the District Magistrate, the hospital will be sealed after the transfer of patients. pic.twitter.com/Gza1xaUAaR
The health department of the Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a probe after the owner of a private hospital in Agra was caught on a video purportedly bragging about how he turned off the oxygen supply of critical patients for five minutes on April 26 in a "mock drill" to identify "who will survive". Among those admitted in both COVID and non-COVID wards, 22 patients reportedly died in the incident.
In a video that went viral on social media this week, the owner of Paras Hospital, Dr Arinjay Jain is heard admitting that 22 patients “turned blue” as they started gasping for breath after the hospital snapped the oxygen supply for five minutes. Dr Jain, who is not visible in the video, is also heard claiming that there was an acute shortage of oxygen at the hospital that day.
The owner is further heard saying that the hospital administration had asked people to discharge the patients due to lack of oxygen but no one was ready.
"We were told to get people discharged as there was no oxygen. Even the chief minister cannot get oxygen, that's the situation, so start discharging patients. We started urging people but they refused to leave. So, we decided to do a mock drill. We will know who will die and who will survive," Dr Jain purportedly told another person who is seen agreeing to it.
Speaking of the experiment the owner said, "Then we conducted a mock drill at 7 am and identified, 22 patients. We realised they would die. They started turning blue and 74 were left. The drill lasted five minutes. We then told the 74 others to get their own oxygen cylinders."
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh said the authorities have investigated the private conversations on April 28 that took place in their personal chamber. “Preliminary inquiry suggests that Paras Hospital was provided with 121, 117 and 135 D-type cylinders and as per requirement they were sufficient,” he confirmed. The DM however denied that 22 patients died that day.
“Seven patients, including those infected by COVID-19, died in a private hospital due to alleged oxygen shortage on April 26 and 27. There were 22 critical patients admitted to the hospital but have no details of their death. We will look into the video which has surfaced about their death,” he told ANI.
Chief medical officer Dr RC Pandey also said seven patients died at the hospital during that period and the health department ordered a probe into the matter.
“This is a serious offence and the government has taken cognisance of the incident. We have formed a committee to the hospital to conduct a thorough probe into the matter. The CM has also taken note of the matter. Once the report arrives, strict action will be taken against those responsible for the crime,” said UP Minister Jai Pratap Singh.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded strict action against those responsible for the "mock drill" at the Agra hospital. Citing a news report about the purported video Gandhi tweeted, "There is an acute shortage of oxygen and humanity in BJP rule. There should be strict action against those responsible for this heinous crime.”