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No fewer than nine coronavirus patients were confirmed dead yesterday in Russia’s republic of North Ossetia following an oxygen pipe rupture which was reported at a hospital in the capital Vladikavkaz.
Speaking on Tuesday, the Russian health ministry revealed that; ‘Nine patients with coronavirus died due to the lack of oxygen at the Republic Clinical Hospital of Vladikavkaz’.
The republic’s acting head Sergei Minyaylo was also quoted as saying ‘there was a rupture of the oxygen pipe’ and ‘the oxygen supply was interrupted’.
The health ministry said 71 patients were in intensive care at the time of the accident, including 13 supported by ‘mechanical ventilation’.
All nine patients who died were on ventilators, it said.
Minyaylo said the lungs of the nine patients had already suffered “90 percent damage” before the pipeline ruptured and that it was too early to blame their deaths on the accident.
He said that the problem was ‘promptly detected and eliminated within 30 to 40 minutes’ and the rest of the patients were transferred to ‘oxygen cylinders and backup oxygen sources’.
He added that the North Ossetia republic in Russia’s North Caucasus region has no problem supplying its hospitals with oxygen.
Russia has seen a number of accidents in its coronavirus hospitals lead to the deaths of patients during the pandemic.
In June, three people died in a fire at a hospital in the Russian city of Ryazan southeast of Moscow, with a faulty ventilator believed to be the cause of the blaze.
Several people also died in May last year in fires at hospitals in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, with faulty ventilators likewise believed to have sparked the blazes.
Russia is the world’s fourth worst-hit country in terms of coronavirus cases with nearly 6.5 million registered, according to official figures.
With 165,650 deaths from the virus, Russia has the highest official Covid-19 toll in Europe — even as authorities have been accused of downplaying the severity of the outbreak.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK