District authorities in Andhra’s Kurnool have denied reports that four COVID-19 patients died due to oxygen shortage at a private hospital. District Collector G Veerapandian said two persons with COVID-19 symptoms had died at the hospital on May 1 and claimed there was an adequate supply of oxygen at the hospital. “They hadn’t tested positive yet, but they had COVID-19 symptoms. We are not sure if they died due to COVID-19, but there was definitely no shortage of oxygen,” the Collector said.
A few television channels had reported that four to five COVID-19 patients had died due to a shortage of oxygen in KS Care Hospital, in the Sampath Nagar area of Kurnool city. Insisting that there was an adequate supply of medical oxygen at the hospital, Collector Veerapandian said, “There are enough oxygen cylinders. The supply line is also working. We have also seen the receipts for the oxygen cylinders delivered here last night.” He asked the media to refrain from reporting unverified information, as it would create panic among the public about the availability of medical oxygen.
Authorities have also said that KS Care Hospital is not a notified COVID-19 hospital. Veerapandian asked people to refer to the list of 28 notified hospitals in the district for treatment of COVID-19 patients. He noted that the managing director of one hospital in the city has already been booked for violating norms. Earlier this week, authorities of Gayathri Hospital were booked by Kurnool police for misappropriating the antiviral drug Remdesivir, overcharging patients and appointing unqualified persons to treat them.
The remaining patients admitted at KS Care Hospital are reportedly being shifted to the Kurnool Government General Hospital. The Collector has said that the District Medical and Health Officer and police officers are collecting further information, and action will be taken on the hospital, based on their reports.
A relative of one of the patients who died at the hospital, told media that the patient had been suffering from COVID-19. He said the family had admitted the patient at KS Care Hospital, as the government hospitals and other COVID-19 hospitals in the city they went to did not have beds available.