Uttar Pradesh O2 crisis: FIR against Lucknow hospital for putting up shortage notice

Hospital administration, had put up a notice on May 3 asking relatives to take away patients as it was facing oxygen shortage, it will move Allahabad High Court over the FIR

sun hospital

The  Lucknow administration has filed a first information report (FIR) against Sun Hospital, which is in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar area, and accused it of spreading “false rumours” over shortage of oxygen, reported Indian Express. The hospital administration will now move the Allahabad High Court over the FIR. The 45-bed hospital was designated a Covid facility around a month ago, stated the report, adding that on May 3, it had 38 patients, who the hospital claimed were on oxygen support. By Thursday, it had 28 Covid patients, with 20 on oxygen support, stated the report. 

However, the FIR, filed at 11.30 P.M on Wednesday, came in the wake of the Allahabad High Court, which mentioned the notice put up by Sun Hospital: “… news was also being viral that one Sun Hospital, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow and another private hospital at Meerut had taken their hands off the admitted Covid patients only for the reason that oxygen supply was not made even after demand. We find these news items showing a quite contrary picture to one claimed by the Government that there was sufficient supply of oxygen,” observed the court, adding that the “death of Covid patients just for non-supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen.” 

Now, after the FIR, the Sun Hospital’s Akhilesh Pandey told the media that he wanted the Lucknow administration to come and talk to caregivers about what happened on May 3. “I am filing a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court challenging the action,” he said. According to IE, Pandey has also claimed that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Sadar) Praful Tripathi had pressured him, “I have a video with the audio of SDM sahib making me write things in return for helping me. Now, they have issued a notice to me.” Pandey said he was also approaching the court for anticipatory bail and to seek a fair investigation into the issue.

The news report quotes the complaint by the district administration: “Despite orders from Lucknow district administration and government for not spreading rumours of Oxygen shortage, a notice was circulated on social media asking (caregivers) of patients to withdraw patients who were on oxygen support from the hospital… In the probe done by administration, it was found that eight jumbo cylinders and two B-type cylinders and concentrators were available with the hospital.” According to the  administration this was “sufficient oxygen”.

However, Pandey told the media that the hospital needs to maintain back-up of O2, “Despite requests, no one assured me about oxygen supply. The administration kept saying no when asked about oxygen. The Drug Inspector told me how he could give me oxygen cylinders when there was none available anywhere in Lucknow. I issued the notice because I didn’t want anyone to die at my hospital, and to ensure that if someone could go elsewhere, they could have done so.”

Pandey has been named in the FIR lodged against the hospital, the Vibhuti Khand SHO Chandra Shekhar Singh told the media that other names will be added later, “For now, we have lodged a case against Akhilesh Pandey. We have been told Akhilesh is a partner and there is another director.” According to the news report, the FIR has been lodged under Sections of the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act and IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life).



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