Video of Indian man begging police not to take oxygen from mother goes viral

Anmol Goyal's mother reportedly died two hours after the police allegedly took away the oxygen

A video of a young man begging Indian police not to take away his mother’s oxygen cylinder has gone viral, as the country continues to grapple with a devastating wave of coronavirus infections.

In the footage, Anmol Goyal, 22, can be seen wearing PPE and standing near an ambulance outside the private hospital in Agra in Uttar Pradesh state, where his mother was being treated for Covid-19.

Policemen stand guard as oxygen cylinders are taken out of the hospital and loaded into the ambulance, rejecting Mr Goyal’s pleas.

Mr Goyal’s mother reportedly died two hours later.

The reporter who filmed the video said the police were taking the oxygen away to give it to a VIP.

Mr Goyal said that he tried to stop the police when he realised the cylinder was being taken away.

He knelt down outside and cried: “My mother will die.”

He told The Wire: “When I asked the ward boys why they were taking away our oxygen cylinder, they told me that they want to save somebody’s life. Who is that somebody? And is my mother’s life not valuable enough?”

Police in Agrarejected claims that oxygen was taken away from the mother.

Police Superintendent Rohan P Botre said Mr Goyal had been mistaken: “It was an empty cylinder being taken away from the hospital for refilling.”

Mr Goyal told police he and his younger brother had sourced the oxygen themselves after the hospital ran out amid a nationwide shortage.

Social media platforms have been flooded with pleas from people looking for oxygen, medicines and hospital beds.

International aid to alleviate India's dire oxygen shortage began arriving last week as its daily coronavirus cases and deaths set new records.

The US, Russia and Britain sent emergency supplies including oxygen generators, face masks and vaccines.

Aid from France reached India on Sunday, including eight oxygen-generator plants and 28 ventilators, adding to the ventilators from Germany that arrived the previous night.

The UK, which has already sent 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators, said it was sending another 1,000 ventilators.

India on Monday reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a 12th straight day, taking its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million, while deaths from Covid-19 rose by 3,417.

With 368,147 new cases over the past 24 hours, India's total infections stand at 19.93 million, while total fatalities are 218,959, according to health ministry data.

Medical experts say real numbers across the country of 1.35 billion may be five to 10 times higher than the official tally.

Hospitals have filled to capacity, supplies of medical oxygen have run short and morgues and crematoriums have been swamped as the country deals with the surge in cases.

Published: May 3, 2021 05:37 PM

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