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Death of 21 patients at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad due to power failure: NHRC issues notice
Taking suo-motu cognizance of a media report that, allegedly due to power failure, 21 patients died in a single day at the government run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on the 22nd July, 2016 the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Principal Secretary, Department of Medical Health & the Family Welfare, Government of Telangana.

The NHRC has asked the Principal Secretary to submit a detailed report in reponse to its notice within six weeks.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report are painful and raise serious issues of violation of Right to Life of the patients. The NHRC has also asked to inform about the steps taken regarding relief granted to the affected families.

The Commission on the basis of the media report also noted that in all such sensitive places and particularly hospitals, there should be regular/periodical drill to ensure that people managed to work on alternatives methods/systems in case of power failure.

"Before setting out to switch off even generators to rectify a technical snag, the doctors, paramedical staff and attendants should have been alerted about the blackout," said the NHRC in a statement.

According to the media report, carried on the 24th July, 2016, the electricity supply first tripped around 3.00 pm on the 22nd July, 2016 and thereafter, it continued to do so at regular intervals.

Although, there were four generators as standby, but these developed snags and could not be used when power lines were later cut off to find the cause of the tripping. The deaths occurred in the specialty wards, including the surgical intensive unit, respiratory intensive care unit, acute medical unit, neo-natal intensive care ward and the emergency ward.

Reportedly, Divisional Engineer, Southern Power Distribution Company Limited, Secunderabad, confirmed the power failure in the hospital and that the it had some troubles with its own generating equipment.

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