JAMMU: Jammu Police has registered an FIR for in-depth probe into the possible ‘sabotage’ wherein the oxygen supply to COVID-19 patients at Isolation Ward at Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu was snapped for nearly eight minutes putting the patients’ at risk.The report of an engineer posted in the GMC’s oxygen plant states that the incident happened at 11:20 AM on June 16 when the control valve of the cold oxygen plant feeding the isolation ward had been deliberately shut-off causing panic among the patients.It is being suspected that some persons mischievously shut off the control point. Police has started the probe to ascertain the facts.A senior police officer said that we are working on various theories including sabotage and attempt to murder. GMC administration, however, denied any such input in a report from internal inquiry committee.However, it is worth to mention that an expert panel in their report which was published exclusively in STATE TIMES, it was found that the GMC Jammu lacks skilled and trained staff, there is generally steep decrease in pressure of oxygen cylinders, which leads to deaths.The recent audit of the oxygen pipes in GMC Jammu and its Hospitals, carried out by a team of experts from IIT Jammu, GCET and SMVDU had also pointed out that the ‘paramedical staff be trained in the handling of the knobs and valves to restrict wastage and be made aware of the shortage of oxygen supply. The team had also recommended that proper roaster be prepared for regular maintenance of all equipments and machinery corresponding to the supply of oxygen to patients.According to health bulletin issued by the administration on June 16, there was one Covid-related death in GMC Hospital on that day. There were 15 patients in the isolation ward when, around 11.20 AM, it was noticed that pressure of oxygen supply had suddenly decreased.It was found that the control valve of the cold oxygen plant to the isolation ward had been shut-off, which is manned by mechanical division of the engineering department.Six people from the hospital operate the plant and monitor oxygen supply at the control room, in a group of two, by rotation, sources said.Two Oxygen plant operators Tej Kishen and Tilak Raj, on duty, were reportedly not present in the control room when the mishap occurred. One of them had gone to washroom, and the other claimed that he left the control room for a while to meet a friend.Police has registered a case under IPC Section 440 (mischief to cause hurt or death). We are recording statements of all suspects and will take action against the culprits, said a senior Police officer.
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