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Russian authorities uncover problems with medical oxygen in 22 regions

Source: Meduza

A quarter of Russia’s regions are experiencing problems with medical oxygen, said Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, as quoted by the ministry’s press service in a message to Meduza.

“We conducted a survey of all 85 of the Russian Federation’s constituent entities. As a result, a deteriorating situation with medical oxygen was revealed in 22 regions,” the minister said. 

Manturov confirmed that the ministry is holding a “series of meetings with all Russian producers and suppliers of medical gases” to address the situation. 

On October 21, reports emerged that Russia’s federal healthcare watchdog, Roszdravnadzor, was carrying out an inquiry on behalf of the Health Ministry into the deaths of 13 COVID-19 patients in Rostov-on-Don’s City Hospital Number 20. Sources told the media that the patients had died due to lack of medical oxygen. 

Initially, city authorities in Rostov-on-Don maintained that these reports were inaccurate. The head of the city’s health department said that there weren’t any problems with the hospital’s oxygen supply. However, within a week of the reported deaths the head of Rostov-on-Don’s health department had been dismissed and the Rostov region’s health minister had retired

On October 30, the Rostov region’s branch of the Investigative Committee announced the launch of a criminal case over the deaths of five coronavirus patients at City Hospital Number 20. The case was launched on criminal charges of “negligence causing the deaths of two or more people.” State investigators did not specify the suspected cause of death or any other details. 

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