Coronavirus | Bihar facing a severe shortage of oxygen


NMCH Superintendent Vinod Kumar Singh wrote in a letter ‘despite my several reminders, the hospital is not being provided adequate oxygen supply which has put lives of dozens of patients in danger’.

The superintendent of a dedicated COVID-19 hospital in Bihar has written to the government to relieve him from the post as the lack of oxygen supply in the hospital has put the lives of dozens of patients in danger.

Bihar has been facing a severe shortage of oxygen cylinders and the remdesivir medicine for the past one week, with the government claiming that it had taken adequate steps to replenish stocks.

Vinod Kumar Singh, a senior doctor and superintendent of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, the most prominent COVID-19 hospital in Patna, wrote to Bihar Principal Health Secretary Pratyaya Amrit to relieve him from the post. “Despite several reminders, the hospital is not being provided adequate oxygen supply which has put lives of dozens of patients in danger. I’m afraid that after patients’ death due to lack of oxygen, blame will be pinned on the NMCH superintendent. So, you’re requested to kindly relieve me immediately from my post,” said the one-page letter dated April 17.

Earlier, the Bihar chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) too had lodged a protest over the government’s mismanagement of COVID-19 treatment in hospitals. “Infected doctors are not being provided beds in hospitals, but VIPs have been occupying it even with mild symptoms,” the IMA said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Tejashwi Yadav targeted Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the issue. “The Superintendent of NMCH has requested that he be relived from the post due to lack of oxygen in the hospital. Imagine the situation. You cannot question the Chief Minister of 16-years. Why 16, he will not accept his mistake even if he remains CM for 1600 years,” Mr. Yadav tweeted .

“If the situation is so grim in the State capital, Patna, one can imagine the State in remote districts where medical infrastructure is poor. The sooner the government provides proper medical infrastructure, the better it will be,” said a senior doctor of a government hospital.

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