Bengaluru | Jagran News Desk: At least 24 people, including several COVID-19 positive patients, lost their lives on Monday in Karnataka's Chamarajanagar District Hospital due to an alleged shortage of medical oxygen. The officials, however, have denied that the patients died due to oxygen shortage but said that a probe has been ordered into the incident.

"It's not appropriate to say that all the 24 deaths happened due to oxygen shortage. These deaths had happened from Sunday morning to this morning. The oxygen shortage happened in the wee hours of Monday -- from 12.30 AM to 2.30 AM," Chamarajanagar district in-charge Minister S Suresh Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

"All the people who died may not have died due to oxygen shortage," he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has called the Chamarajanagar deputy commissioner to take a stock of the situation. He has also decided to hold a crucial cabinet meet on Tuesday to review the COVID situation in the state.

This is not the first case where people have lost their lives due to oxygen shortage in India. Last month, 25 COVID-19 patients in Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital lost their lives after the health facility due to "low pressure" of oxygen.

India has been hit by the second COVID wave that has led to an exponential rise in daily cases, leading to a shortage of essential medical equipment, including liquid oxygen, in several states and union territories (UTs).

The Centre has said that it is aware of the situation, adding that it is in regular touch with states and UTs to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen is maintained across the country.

It has also decided several industrial units which produce gaseous oxygen of requisite purity will be shortlisted to produce medical O2 to deal with the shortage crisis.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma