District in-charge Minister Suresh Kumar denies ‘oxygen link’, says deaths were reported starting Sunday morning but oxygen shortage occurred later at midnight
CM calls emergency cabinet meet on Tuesday on Chamarajanagar tragedy
Following reports that 23 Covid patients in Chamarajanagar district died on Sunday due to shortage of oxygen, district in-charge Minister S Suresh Kumar went into damage control mode and said it was “not correct” to attribute all the deaths to shortage of oxygen. The Minister said he had sought a report on the tragedy from the district administration.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa spoke with the district’s Deputy Commissioner and has called an emergency cabinet meeting on the tragedy on Tuesday.
Addressing a presser on Monday morning, the Minister said 24 deaths were reported in Chamarajanagar district in the past 24 hours, of which one occurred in a private hospital while 23 were reported from the district hospital. “All these deaths have been reported since Sunday morning till today, Monday morning. Oxygen shortage was reported in the night from around 12.30 am to 2.30 am on Monday. Later, oxygen was received from the neighbouring Mysuru district. So, it will not be proper to say that all died due to a shortage of oxygen,” Kumar said.
Minister’s spot visit
The district in-charge Minister said he had sought a report of the cause of deaths. “Everything can be ascertained only after going through the report. On priority I am visiting Chamarajanagar and I assure that strict action will be taken against those responsible for the deaths,” he added.
Kumar said that he had spoken to Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar and had directed him to provide adequate oxygen supplies to Chamarajanagar. “Chamarajanagar and neighbouring district Mandya get oxygen from Mysuru. After the shortage was reported around 11 pm at night, oxygen cylinders were received from Mysuru. The Chief Secretary has been asked to solve the oxygen issues of these districts,” the Minister said.
Mysuru MP comes to rescue
Meanwhile, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha tweeted that Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner MR Ravi had called him to seek oxygen cylinders as there was a shortage in the district. Simha’s tweet on Sunday night at 11.25 pm reads: “FYI: just had a conference call with DC Chamarajanagar ‘n’ ADC Mys, Nagaraj, who is in charge of Mys oxygen supply. We are providing 50 cylinders now as their stock vl exhaust by 2 am ‘n’ will take it back from their quota tmrw.”
FYI: just had a conference cal with DC Chamrajnagar n ADC Mys, Nagaraj, who is incharge of Mys oxygen supply, we are providing 50 cylinders now as their stock vl exhaust by 2 am n will take it back from their quota tmrw.— Pratap Simha (@mepratap) May 2, 2021
Chamarajanagar DC on oxygen logistics
Meanwhile speaking ot TV channels, Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner MR Ravi said, “We have an LMO plant which can run for 23 hours and after it is empty we depend upon cylinders. Then, tankers filled with oxygen gas are brought to our district which raise the capacity to two days, and once it is empty we depend (again) upon cylinders.”
Ravi said that he had not spoken to the Mysuru DC as Chamarajanagar has an MoU with the supplier. “We are depending upon proper supply from Mysuru district and if we get them in due time, we won’t have a shortage of supply. Our lorries wait near the plant in Mysuru for hours together. If they are filled with oxygen in due time, we won’t face any problems,” he added.