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New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo-motu cognizance of a media report that  due to alleged power failure, 21 patients died in a single day at the government run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, Telengana, July 22, 2016. 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. Accordingly, a notice has been issued to the Principal Secretary, Department of Medical Health and Family Welfare, Government of Telengana, calling for a report in the matter within six weeks.  The Commission has also asked him to inform about the steps taken regarding relief granted to the affected families.

The NHRC, on the basis of the media report, also noted that in all such sensitive places particularly hospitals, there should be regular/periodical drill to insure 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.

According to the media report carried on July 24, 2016, electricity supply first tripped around 3 pm on July 22 and thereafter, it happened at regular intervals.  Although, there were four generators as standby, but they had 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. Gandhi hospital is a premier 1,200 bed Tertiary Care Hospital and caters to a large number of patients coming not only from the ten districts of Telangana but also from the neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

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