Lucknow journalist dies gasping for oxygen after contracting COVID-19; kin squarely blame Yogi govt

Vinay Shrivastav reportedly died of COVID-19 after failing to get any response from hospitals despite frantic calls. He had also sought help from UP CM Yogi Adityanath but no one came to his rescue

Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@VinaySr18286715
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@VinaySr18286715


A Lucknow-based journalist, Vinay Srivastava, reportedly died of Covid-19 on Saturday after failing to get any response from hospitals despite frantic calls. The senior journalist had also sought help from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath but no one came to his rescue.

Srivastava, who was working as a freelance journalist, had tweeted about dropping oxygen levels in his blood, in which he had tagged Adityanath.

Talking to the media, his son, Harshit Srivastava said, “We did not get anything. I called every possible number for an oxygen cylinder, but no one picked up.”

“My father could have been saved. It is entirely the government’s fault,” said Harshit Srivastava, who was still awaiting his father’s Covid-19 report.

Though Adityanath’s media advisor Shalabh Mani Tripathi responded to Srivastava on Twitter, asking for more details, it was too late as Srivastava’s oxygen levels had fallen to 31 by then.

As per experts, oxygen saturation in the blood below the level of 94 is considered a matter of concern for people suffering from Covid-19.

Srivastava said the level was 52 when he tweeted for the first time around 8 pm on Friday to say that no hospital in Lucknow was responding to his phone calls.

Incidentally, government-run Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civil Hospital, is just about 7 km away from Srivastava’s home.

As per media reports, it is one of the 150 district hospitals across India for which the Central government floated tenders in October last year for starting an oxygen production plant. However, nothing has been done so far on the ground to start the plant.

“Had this plant been functioning, the lives of many people like Srivastava who are dying due to lack of oxygen support could have been saved,” said a Lucknow-based activist.

Uttar Pradesh's capital city, Lucknow which has a population of 30 lakh, has 44,485 confirmed coronavirus cases, as per the government’s own data.

National Herald had reported on Saturday that not only in Lucknow but in PM Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi also, hospitals are not responding to calls made by desperate patients. Many lives could be saved if the UP government can ensure timely supply of oxygen cylinders to those who are in desperate need for the same.

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Published: 18 Apr 2021, 6:34 PM