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Agra hospital sealed amid probe into owner's 'mock oxygen drill' video

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 June 2021, 8:43 IST

The Agra administration has sealed a private hospital in the city after a video of its owner went viral in which he is purportedly talking of "mock drill" and admitting that he had on April 26 got the oxygen supply of critical patients stopped for five minutes as an "experiment to know who all are going to survive."

Uttar Pradesh health department has also initiated a probe.

Dr Arinjay Jain, the owner of Agra's Paras Hospital, who is at the centre of a controversy, said that news reports of 22 deaths are baseless and he is ready to cooperate with any investigation. He said the period relates to the wave of COVID-19 at its peak.

Agra District Magistrate of Agra Prabhu N Singh said that the video was of April which went viral on June 7.

"As per the official records, the hospital had an adequate supply of oxygen. As of now, 55 COVID patients are admitted to the hospital who have been asked to shift to another hospital. The hospital has been sealed for further probe," he said

"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," he added.

Dr Jain said the subject mentioned in the video is of April when the second wave of COVID-19 was at peak.

"By mistake or innocence, I mentioned the word 'mock drill' in the video but there was no mock drill as such," he said.

"We conducted, call it clinical assessment or mock drill, to check how we can maintain a patient at minimum level of oxygen in our effort to ensure its rationale use. During this exercise, bedside oxygen adjustment was made," he added.

Dr Jain said oxygen supply was not snapped during this exercise.

"It enabled us to identify patients who needed high-flow oxygen, so that we can make optional arrangements for them in case of acute oxygen shortage," he said.

"I am ready to cooperate in any investigation. Officials of the health department today visited the hospital and I gave them all information they needed. But unfortunately, my hospital has been sealed," he added.

In a viral video, the owner of Paras Hospital in Agra can be heard talking about the mock drill.

"During an acute shortage of oxygen... the hospital conducted a mock drill. We stopped the oxygen supply for five minutes around 7 am on April 26. Twenty-two patients started gasping for breath and their bodies began turning blue. Then there were remaining 74 patients and we asked their family members to bring their own oxygen cylinders," he said.


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First published: 9 June 2021, 8:43 IST