Panaji: Days after 26 coronavirus patients at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) succumbed due to oxygen shortage, 15 more COVID-19 patients died at the same facility between 2 am and 6 am on Thursday, the state government told the Bombay High Court. The HC observed that despite its order on providing medical oxygen to COVID-19 patients at the GMCH, there were 15 deaths during the dark hours of 2 am and 6 am in the government-run facility. The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions which have alleged mismanagement in the state government efforts to tackle the pandemic. Also Read - COVID-19: India Vaccinates Record 80 Lakh People on Day 1 of Revised Guidelines, PM Modi Says 'Well Done'

“We also direct the Central Government to ensure that the allotted quota is made available to the State at the earliest,” a division bench comprising Justices Nitin Sambre and Mahesh Sonak said. A central government counsel had earlier informed the Court that the central government had increased allocation of oxygen to Goa. Also Read - Amarnath Yatra Cancelled For The Second Time In A Row Due To Covid Pandemic, Online Aarti For Devotees

Reacting to the series of deaths, the Court said it expects “the state administration to find out ways and means to overcome these logistical issues, so that, precious life is not lost on account of any deficiencies in the matter of supply of oxygen to the patients”. Also Read - Delhi Unlock: From Restaurant Timings to New Rules For Bars, All Your FAQs Answered

The Goa government had earlier informed the court that logistical issues, especially delay caused due to “manoeuvering the tractor which carries the trolleys of oxygen and in connecting the cylinders to the manifold”. “We were explained that during this process there was some interruption, which resulted in fall of pressure in the supply lines of oxygen to the patients. It was pointed out that it is basically on account of these factors some casualties may have taken place,” the Court said in its order.

It also directed the state Health Secretary to file a status report by Friday evening by email. “If we are satisfied with the status report, we will hold further proceedings on 17.05.2021.

However, if we are not satisfied with the status report or if we feel that any further directions are necessary, then, we make it clear that we will hold the proceedings on May 15 even though it is a Saturday,” the Court added.

(With agency inputs)