The Uttar Pradesh health department has launched an investigation after the owner of a prominent private hospital in Agra was caught on camera allegedly saying that on the morning of April 26, he had the oxygen supply of critical patients cut off for five minutes "as an experiment to know who all are going to survive".
Twenty-two patients, both in the Covid and non-Covid wards, may not have survived.
Dr. Arinjay Jain, the owner of Paras Hospital, is seen informing some individuals in a video posted by Livehindustan that the oxygen supply was cut for five minutes as part of a "mock drill." According to Livehindustan, 22 individuals may not have survived that day.
Dr. Jain, who is not seen in the video, is also heard claiming that there was an extreme shortage of oxygen on that day, and that the hospital management ordered people to get their patients released, but no one was ready.
"Then I decided to try something out - a mock drill of sorts - and asked the staff to identify those whose oxygen supply can be cut. That way, we will get to know who will die and who'll survive. The mock drill happened at 7am, no one knows about this," said Dr Jain, according to the video tweeted by Livehindustan.
"Twenty-two patients started gasping for breath and their bodies began turning blue. We came to know that they will not survive. Seventy-four others who survived in the ICU ward were told to bring their own oxygen cylinders," he added.
Prabhu N Singh, the district magistrate, disputed that 22 patients died that day. He stated that just seven people died in Paras Hospital on April 26 and 27.
"There was an oxygen shortage on these days, but it was augmented by diverting supply from Mathura refinery," said Singh.
The district magistrate stated that they have taken cognizance of the issue and that an inquiry has begun, adding that anyone found guilty would face consequences.
Dr. RC Pandey, the hospital's chief medical officer, also stated that seven patients died over the specified time period. According to Dr. Pandey, the health department has initiated an inquiry.