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MP: Medical Infrastructure Questioned after 3 COVID-19 Deaths in Bhopal Following Power Failure

In another incident, a COVID-19 patient in Gwalior allegedly died due to ‘fake plasma’ and 22 infants have died in Shahdol in two weeks.
Bhopal Hamidia Hospital

Image Courtesy: Times Of India

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh’s medical infrastructure has been left exposed after a series of events over the last 24 hours. In Bhopal's Haimidia Hospital, the largest government facility in the state, three COVID-19 patients died due to a power cut.

In Gwalior, a COVID-19 patient died after a private hospital administered fake plasma and nearly 22 infants died in the tribal-dominated Shahdol district over the last two weeks.

An hour-long power outage (from 6 pm to 7 pm) at the COVID-19 treatment centre of the Hamidia Hospital on Friday evening, alongside the failure of the power back-up led to the death of three patients who were on ventilators. After initially denying the same, the hospital administration confirmed the deaths of Mohd Faheem, 70, Babulal, 70 and Akbar, 67, on Saturday morning.

Eleven patients were on ventilators at the time of power outage, but eight remained unaffected, the hospital administration reportedly claimed. Patients who were highly dependent on oxygen were adversely impacted by the blackout.

“The power failure took place around 6pm. But, the backup generator, which is maintained by PWD, failed to provide power,” Hamidia Hospital superintendent Dr. Chaurasia, told The Times of India. A preliminary probe into the incident has reportedly revealed that the generator had managed to restore power but had failed shortly.

The Hamidia Hospital has 390 general beds / oxygen support beds for COVID-19 treatment; 57 of the 150 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients were occupied on Friday. As the news broke, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a probe into the incident.

In another incident, a COVID-19 patient in Gwalior allegedly died due to ‘fake plasma’. Manoj Gupta, a businessman from MP’s Datia, was admitted to a private hospital in Gwalior on December 3 with a COVID-19 infection and other ailments.

On December 8, doctors asked his family to arrange for plasma as his condition was detereorating. On the suggestion of a member of the hospital staff, the kin purchased plasma by paying Rs 18,000 to a person who identified himself as ‘Tyagi’, an ‘employee of JEH hospital’s blood bank’.

The family bought the plasma and handed it to the doctor with a receipt of JEH hospital. Without verifying details, the hospital administration performed the procedure. Gupta’s condition started worsening on December 9. He subsequently, on December 10.

When his kin inquired about the plasma and went to JEH hospital, they found that there was no ‘Tyagi’ among its employees, and neither was the receipt genuine.

Later, a complaint was registered in Gwalior. “We have formed a committee to inquire into the matter. Action will be taken on the basis of their report,” said Gwalior collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh.

The Madhya Pradesh government has ordered an investigation into the death of Manoj Gupta. Officers have been asked to probe for the presence of a racket.

In tribal-dominated Shahdol, nearly 22 infants died over the last two weeks due to the lack of infrastructure and doctors at the hospital. Three days ago, Health Minister Prabhuram Choudhary suspended the Chief Medical Health officer and Civil Surgeon in Shahdol.

Demanding the resignation of the State Health Minister, state Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said: “The heath infrastructure has totally collapsed in the State. Hamidia is just a reminder. Nearly 9,000 infants have died in the last seven months in the State while the Government is busy buying MLAs.”

The BJP has been in power in the state over the last 16 years; they have only looted Government resources and did nothing to fix public health infrastructure, said Gupta. “In a short span of 15 months, the Congress government tried to fix it and framed a new health policy, but the corrupt BJP brought the Government down,” he added.

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