Tirupati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered a high-level inquiry into the death of 11 patients due to the disruption in oxygen supply at Ruia Government Hospital on Monday.

"As a responsive government, we have decided to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to each of the families of the deceased. I have also ordered a complete inquiry into the incident," he said.

Jagan said they are taking stringent measures so that such incidents do not recur in the future. "In fact, the government has been closely monitoring and taking all steps to prevent a shortage of oxygen supply in the state," he said.

Chief Minister said they have sought the help of Eastern Naval Command to oversee the oxygen supply chain and ensure its adequate supply to hospitals.

"As of today, we have oxygen supplies arriving in the state through ships and flights. Yesterday, six oxygen tankers were airlifted from Gannavaram airport to Odisha. We are importing oxygen through ships from other countries too," he said.

To overcome technical problems relating to oxygen supply, four navy teams have already been deployed to various hospitals to inspect and give relevant suggestions and recommendations. Apart from that, the government has decided that all hospitals in the State, ranging from PHCs to teaching hospitals must have independent oxygen plants. This work has already begun in earnest.

"We are all aware that production and supply of either oxygen or medicines or vaccinations are solely in the hands of the union government. Hence, we have been repeatedly requesting them to ensure adequate supplies to the state. We have the resolve and the infrastructure to save lives. All that we are asking the Centre is to give us a helping hand," he said.

Expressing sorrow over the Ruia hospital incident, he said his government is working with utmost dedication and sincerity.

"Ruia incident, unfortunately, happened due to a few minutes of disruption in oxygen supply as the tankers from the neighboring Tamil Nadu were slightly delayed. As hundreds of patients 'on oxygen' got affected due to the disruption, doctors tried their best to save as many lives as possible but could not save them all," he said.

Jagan said though AP does not have tier-1 cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai, nevertheless, the government is moving forward very courageously in the war on Covid-19.

"Be it setting up a system for efficiently covering the population for vaccination, or strengthening medical facilities from village level onwards up to the state capital or for the first time ever in the country, including Covid treatment in the free Arogyasree scheme. We have taken all measures to save peoples' lives. Though we may not be directly responsible for the delay of the oxygen tanker from the neighboring state, we can't deny the unfortunate incident that happened in Ruia hospital," he said.

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