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Horror in Goa: Patients on floor, 15 die due to want of oxygen

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Panaji, May 14: The Goa Medical College and Hospital, the state's largest COVID-19 facility reported 15 more deaths even as relatives and resident doctors made frantic calls through the night as oxygen pressure started falling.

The doctors said that oxygen pressure could be restored only in 20 minutes and this proved fatal for 15 patients. Horrific scenes were witnessed with patients lying on the floor crying for help.

Horror in Goa: Patients on floor, 15 die due to want of oxygen

On Wednesday, the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court said the availability of medical oxygen for Covid-19 patients at the Goa Medical College and Hospital was grim, and asked the state government to take corrective steps.

It was hearing PILs filed by various entities (individuals and organisations). The bench comprising Justices Nitin W Sambre and M S Sonak said the state government has to ensure that the GMCH is supplied with the required amount of medical oxygen.

"The situation of oxygen at Goa Medical College is quite grim. We have long passed the stage of determining whether patients are suffering from the lack of oxygen or not," the court observed.

Asserting that oxygen supply should be made available to the patients in GMCH, the judges said that the right to life is a fundamental one guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. "There is, therefore, a corresponding duty cast on the state to ensure that this life is not extinguished on account of inability on the part of the state to supply oxygen to these unfortunate victims of the pandemic," the court said.

The state officials repeatedly assured us that there was sufficient oxygen available but the problem was of logistics of the supply chain, it said. "At this stage, we do not wish to go into the projections of oxygen requirement made by the under secretary on one hand and the dean on the other, though, prima facie we are inclined to go by the projections of the dean who is actually functioning from the GMC," the bench said.

On Thursday, at least 2,491 persons tested positive for coronavirus, while 63 died of the infection in Goa on Thursday, an official from the state health department said.

With this, the coastal state''s caseload has risen to 1,30,130 and the toll has reached 1,937, the official said.

The count of recoveries rose to 95,240, after 2,266 patients were discharged from various treatment facilities during the day, he said, adding that the state is now left with 32,953 active cases.

With the addition of 7,084 swab samples tested during the day, the total number of tests conducted in the state has gone up to 7,40,931, the official said.

Goa''s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 1,30,130, new cases 2,491, death toll 1,937, discharged 95,240, active cases 32,953, samples tested till date 7,40,931.

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