Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday demanded a judicial probe into the 24 deaths at the Chamarajanagar District Hospital due to the alleged lack of oxygen supply. Dubbing these as "state-sponsored murders", he squarely pinned the blame on the Karnataka government. Maintaining that many hospitals in Karnataka are reporting a shortage of oxygen, the former CM called for preventing another Chamarajanagar-like tragedy. He also demanded the resignation of Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa and Health Minister K Sudhakar.
Writing on Twitter, he said, "Series of SOS calls are being received due to lack of oxygen in various hospitals of our State. We don't want to see another Chamarajanagar hospital incident. Every life is precious."
Karnataka | It's not just deaths this is murder(s) committed by the government. I demand judicial probe into the deaths, let the truth comes out: Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah on the incident at a hospital where 24 patients died allegedly due to oxygen shortage (03/05) pic.twitter.com/qJtELam202— ANI (@ANI) May 3, 2021
Weighing in on the incident, Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner MR Ravi revealed that 14 COVID-19 patients died between the morning of May 2 to midnight, three between midnight and 3 am and 7 others between 3 am and Monday morning. According to him, the oxygen shortage commenced at 10.30 pm on May 2 which was remedied after receiving 60 oxygen cylinders from Mysore. While Yediyurappa spoke to the Deputy Commissioner to gather details about the incident, K Sudhakar and Suresh Kumar- the Minister in charge of the district left for Chamarajanagar.
The CM summoned an emergency Cabinet meeting on Tuesday and ordered an inquiry into the incident. He remarked, "I express my heartfelt condolences to the family members. Government stands firmly with the bereaved families in their hour of grief. I have ordered an inquiry into the matter and strict action will be taken at the earliest against those responsible. We will also ensure that such an incident is never repeated."
At present, there are 4,44,734 active novel coronavirus cases in Karnataka while 11,85,299 patients have been discharged and 16,250 deaths have been reported. In an indication of the worsening situation, the state recorded 44,438 COVID-19 cases on May 2 with a positivity rate of 29.80% besides 239 deaths. The Bengaluru Urban district alone registered 22,112 new patients. The lockdown in the state will remain in force till 6 am on May 12. A total of 82,53,812 persons have been inoculated in Karnataka till now, 16,47,469 of them have received the second dose of the vaccine too.