‘Oxygen shortage’ | 13 patients die in 3 hospitals in Kalaburgi

News Network
May 4, 2021

Kalaburgi, May 4: At least 13 patients have lost their lives in three hospitals of Kalaburagi in two days. Merely a day after nine deaths were reported at a hospital in the district due to shortage of oxygen, four more patients succumbed at a taluk hospital in Afzalpur area early on Tuesday as O2 cylinders did not arrive on time.

The district administration, however, claimed that patients died as they failed to respond to the treatment and the health department had ensured supply of medical oxygen to the government facility.

Deputy commissioner (DC) V V Jyothsna, during a press conference, claimed that Afzalpur hospital has sufficient number of cylinders and there was no shortage at all. Two male and two female patients who died were on oxygen support.

"Of the four deceased, two were confirmed Covid-19 patients. They died of other health complications. The taluk hospital had enough oxygen stock. If there was a shortage of oxygen, the hospital staff would have called us. But there was no shortage," she said.

However, Prashant Patil, an advocate from Afzalpur, whose client' brother was among the dead, said the DC' claims were far from the truth.

Patil said there was oxygen at the hospital in the evening. But during the late hours, the hospital ran out of its oxygen stock.

The hospital was expecting oxygen supply during the late hours but cylinders did not arrive. All the four patients were desperately in need of oxygen support. They died in the morning, Patil said.

Afzalpur taluk health officer Ratnakar Toran claimed that earlier, he had mistakenly said that the deaths were caused due to lack of oxygen supply.

"I made the statement by mistake. But the patients were on oxygen support. There was no shortage," Toran claimed.

Chittapur MLA and former minister Priyank Kharge said one of the family members reached out to him.

The family member complained that the patient died due to lack of medical oxygen. He also alleged that the cylinders are being pushed into black market due which district is facing shortage.

On Tuesday morning, the Kalaburagi district police booked Vijay Oxy and Indl Gases for supplying oxygen cylinders illegally to hospitals outside the state.

Earlier, nine persons, including the wife of a doctor, died in Kalaburagi district reportedly due to lack of oxygen. While five died at a private hospital in Kalaburagi city, four died in an Aland hospital. District health officer and private hospital management denied they died due to shortage of oxygen.

Among the dead in Kalaburagi was Arundhathi Patil, 53, wife of general physician Dr CS Patil. Sources said the 60-yearold doctor watched as his wife died due to lack of oxygen at Anand Hospital. Hospital chief Dr Anand Pujari confirmed that they “could not do anything due to non-availability of oxygen”.

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News Network
April 30,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 30: Covid-19 vaccination for the age group of 18-45 will not begin from May 1 in Bengaluru and rest of Karnataka as earlier announced, Health Minister Dr Sudhakar told reporters here on Friday. 

He asked those aged between 18 to 44 years to register on the Co-WIN portal and wait for the government to inform them once stocks arrive.

"Out of around 99.5 lakh doses, more than 95 lakh doses have been administered. Our vaccine wastage percentage is only 1.4 per cent. Yesterday, four lakh doses have arrived. I've been informed that we have around six lakh doses with us," he said.

While Serum Institute of India manufactures 5-6 crore vaccine doses, Bharat Biotech manufactures 1-1.25 crore doses a month. Russia's Sputnik V, which will be manufactured by Dr Reddy's, is yet to come.

"I've been getting calls and messages asking where to go for vaccination tomorrow. Please don't visit hospitals tomorrow. We've not got information from Serum on when vaccines will be supplied," he added.

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Agencies
April 29,2021

Modi-Zuckerberg.jpg

Apr 29: Facebook Inc. blocked posts tagged #ResignModi before restoring them hours later, stoking a controversy that’s erupted over government requests to remove social media content as India grapples with an escalating Covid crisis.

Facebook said it barred the hashtag by mistake and not at the behest of the government, without elaborating. Facebook periodically blocks hashtags for a variety of reasons, some manually but many also based on automated internal guidelines. The error stemmed from content associated with the label and not the hashtag itself, the spokesperson added.

The hours-long block, which came ahead of the final phase of lawmaker elections in a key state and effectively wiped posts calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign, follows public outrage and official efforts to curb content critical of the way his government has handled the pandemic. This year, the country established new rules that require the likes of Facebook and Twitter Inc. to take down unlawful content quicker, triggering a debate over freedom of speech in the world’s largest democracy.

“We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it,” a Facebook company spokesperson said.

A fresh wave of the coronavirus has roiled India in recent weeks, leaving hospital beds, medicines and oxygen in short supply. Crematoriums are overrun, and India has reported several days of more than 300,000 new daily infections. Many have taken to social media to seek help for their predicament, inundating services like WhatsApp and Instagram with pleas for everything from hospital beds to medicines, CT scans, doorstep Covid tests, and even food for the elderly in quarantine.

It’s also stirred public anger over the handling of the crisis. India’s government in response has ordered US social media companies to block posts, saying Covid-related misinformation risked spurring a panic and disrupting efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

Twitter Inc. has removed or restricted access to Covid-related posts over the past month. Earlier this year, the social media giant had to permanently suspend more than 500 accounts and block access to hundreds of others in India, acceding to a government order to restrain the spread of misinformation and inflammatory content related to farmers’ protests. The company has said it reviews all valid legal requests it receives under the company’s guidelines and local rules.

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News Network
May 9,2021

Bengaluru, May 9: The 17 Muslim BBMP war room staffers that were suspended from their jobs and branded as “terrorists” after a communally motivated “raid” by Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya's team earlier this week, are expected to get their jobs back from May 10. 

On May 4, the MP along with MLAs Sathish Reddy, Ravi Subramanya and Uday Garudachar stormed the war room and made allegations of a bed-blocking scam during which he read out the names of only Muslim staff and questioned their appointment.

The 17 were part of the 212 staffers outsourced by Crystal Infosystems and Services. Within minutes after the MP singled them out, they were branded as terrorists and many of them were picked up by the police in the night.

Sources said Crystal Infosystems and Services, the company which had outsourced the employees to the BBMP, met Thulasi Maddineni, the IAS officer who is in charge of the South Zone War room, on Saturday and requested for the reinstatement of the staffers considering that none of them were connected to the bed-blocking facility.

To a question, the officer said they have assured the company that the jobs will be restored. "The agency came and requested us to reinstate the issue. For many of the employees, it is the question of their livelihood. The request was made on Saturday. The staffers will be taken back from Monday," she said.

Shivu Naik, manager of Crystal Infosystems, said he was yet to hear from officials but the move was a good step forward considering none of the staffers provided by the company were working in the bed-blocking section. "It's definitely a welcome move. Our company had given a letter to BBMP on behalf of the employees as the job was important to them in the pandemic. I will meet the officials tomorrow," he said.

A day after Tejasvi Surya's allegations, the war room had seen attrition as many employees refused to work citing the leakage of their personal phone numbers. Surya visited them once again and apologised for the leak of numbers. His office has clarified that the MP didn't apologise for what happened to the Muslim staffers as reported by some media.

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