Bengaluru: In another hospital tragedy in the country in recent days, 24 patients, including 23 infected with COVID, have died in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, due to a suspected lack of oxygen in the district hospital over the years. past 24 hours, the government warning of tough measures against those convicted.

The government ordered an investigation into the matter and appointed Shivayogi Kalasad, a senior IAS officer, as an investigator.

The incident sparked a sharp reaction from Congress, with party leader Rahul Gandhi wondering “how much more suffering before the” system “awakens.

In Chamarajanagar, a veil of sadness descended on the district hospital as grieving relatives of the deceased gathered after hearing the news.

Family members of the dead also staged a protest at the hospital and alleged that there was a lack of oxygen and called out slogans.

The minister responsible for Chamarajanagar district, S Suresh Kumar, said he had ordered a death audit report from the district administration on the incident.

He argued, however, that not all of the deaths occurred due to lack of oxygen.

“It is not appropriate to say that all 24 deaths were due to lack of oxygen. These deaths occurred from Sunday morning until this morning.”

“The oxygen shortage occurred in the wee hours of Monday – 12:30 pm to 2:30 am,” Kumar, who holds the primary and secondary education portfolio, told reporters here.

He said the death audit report would detail what these patients were suffering from, whether they had any co-morbidities and what condition they had been taken to hospital.

“Not all of the people who died may have died from lack of oxygen,” he added.

According to him, there is a stock of 6000 liters of liquid medical oxygen (LMO), but there was a need for oxygen cylinders.

“The cylinders were supposed to come from Mysuru, but there was a problem,” Kumar said.

He also said he explained the situation to the chief secretary of state, personal secretary to the chief minister and the additional director general of police Pratap Reddy, who is in charge of the oxygen supply in the state.

“I also asked officials to find a permanent solution for the oxygen supply in Chamarajanagar district.

There is indeed a problem in Mysuru, but this should not hamper the oxygen supply from Mysuru to Chamarajanagar and Mandya, ”Kumar added.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa warned of those held responsible for the incident and also expressed shock at the deaths.

“I have ordered an investigation into the matter and strict measures will be taken as soon as possible against those responsible. We will also ensure that such an incident never happens again,” Yediyurappa tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi and other congressional leaders, including former chief minister Siddaramaiah, criticized the ruling BJP over the deaths.

“Dead or killed? My deepest condolences to their families. How much more suffering before the ‘system’ wakes up?” Gandhi tweeted.

Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar said the government is only interested in advertising and takes no responsibility.

“The chief minister and ministers are not in a position to handle this (administration),” he said, adding that he would raise the matter with the chief secretary and ask him to “present the truth. to the people “.

Siddaramaiah has demanded a judicial inquiry into the deaths.

He said an investigation by an IAS agent, as ordered by the government, would be pointless.

In heartbreaking episodes leading up to today’s incident in the country, a fire at a Mumbai shopping center housing a COVID-designated hospital in March killed nine people, including those on ventilators, while 22 patients COVID-19 on a ventilator or on oxygen support, choked to death when their oxygen supply suddenly stopped due to a malfunction in the main storage of a municipal hospital in Nashik.

Likewise, 15 coronavirus patients died after a fire broke out in the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Palghar district, also in Maharashtra in April.

In addition, 12 COVID-19 patients, including the chief executive officer of the gastroenterology department at Batra Hospital in Delhi, are believed to have died on Saturday due to lack of oxygen.

An oxygen supply problem in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, killed three people last week.