Sixteen people who underwent free cataract surgery at Tamil Nadu's Mettur Government Hospital have reportedly complained about losing their vision.
Doctors at the hospital perform cataract surgery free of cost every week. According to reports, the 16 affected patients complained of pain after being treated between June 14-16 - when a total of 23 people were treated.
The patients, who hail from Mettur, Kolathur, Macheri and Omalur areas, were discharged from the hospital on 18 June. After two days of being discharged, 16 of the 23 patients complained of severe pain in the operated eye due to severe infection, The Times of India reported.
"I could not bear the pain. When I approached the doctors at the hospital, they did not help me," P Chellammal, 58, one of the victims told TOI.
According to the report, fifteen other patients who were operated during the period also began to lose vision. The government doctors confirmed that it was due to a severe eye infection. The victims have been referred to the Aravind Eye Hospital in Coimbatore for further treatment.
On Friday, relatives of four patients assembled before the Mettur Government Hospital and spoke to the media about their predicament.
"The doctors at the private hospital say that chances of regaining vision are minimal. We want the government to take stern action against those responsible for this," P Sureshkumar, a relative of one of the victims, was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, a team of officials led by joint director of medical (incharge) Dr Inbasekaran initiated an inquiry.
"There were no problems in the first three days, when the patients were in the hospital. We suspect unhygienic conditions caused infection," Inbasekaran told The New Indian Express.