A COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit of a government hospital near Mudnal on the outskirts of Yadgir died after the hospital lost electricity supply in the early hours on Friday. The deceased was a 30-year old man from Nagarabandi village and was admitted three days ago.

The family members of the dead man alleged that the disruption in oxygen supply caused by the power outage was the reason for his death. They said that, realising the patient’s difficulty in breathing, they tried to blow natural air by waving the towel over his face.

However, district surgeon S.B. Hiremath dismissed the allegation by stating that the death was not caused by the power outage. He also clarified that the oxygen supply had not been disrupted even after the power outage.

As per the information provided by officers in the Health and Family Welfare Department and engineers in Gulbarga Electricity Company Limited (GESCOM), the power outage occurred for one hour and thirty minutes. The efforts to resume power connection using a local generator went in vain as the generator had allegedly run out of fuel, pushing the 250-bed hospital into darkness and leaving the patients high and dry. The relatives of the patients in the hospital switched on the torchlight in their mobile phones to manage things. Some of them even called their friends and relatives seeking their help.

Speaking to The Hindu on the issue, Raghavendra D, Executive Engineer of GESCOM, said that there was a technical problem on the hospital premises that had led to the power outage.

“There was no problem in the GESCOM’s main line. The change-over switch in the hospital developed a technical problem leading to the power outage between 3.15 a.m. and 4.45 a.m. The oxygen supply in the hospital was not dependent on electric power as the former functioned independently on mechanical power. When the power outage occurred, only the usage of fans and lights was affected and the outage did not have any effect on the oxygen supply,” Mr. Raghavendra said.

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