A Covid patient’s body was left on the pavement outside a private hospital in Bhopal for more than an hour late on Monday as the private facility and a dedicated Covid hospital passed the buck, prompting the government to order a magisterial inquiry.
Wajid Ali, an employee of a power company, was undergoing treatment for kidney ailment at People’s Hospital near Raj Bhavan for nearly two weeks. He tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday and an ambulance from Chirayu Hospital, located on the city’s outskirts, was called to take him there in the evening.
However, the ambulance driver, after covering some distance, returned to People’s Hospital to get the patient intubated but the hospital refused to admit him again, arguing that it had already sealed and fumigated the ICU and it was not authorised to treat Covid patients.
CCTV footage showed the ambulance driver and another person in a PPE kit leaving what looked like a lifeless body on the pavement before returning to Chirayu Hospital. After some time, People’s Hospital staffers tried to revive the patient but in vain.
A spokesman of People’s Hospital claimed that the ambulance had returned nearly 100 minutes after taking the patient and the ICU had by then already been sealed and fumigated. He said the ambulance staff waited for half-an-hour and tried to forcefully admit the patient by using a stretcher. He claimed that he had informed the police but was told it was not a medico-legal case.
Chirayu Hospital said the driver made the right decision as the patient’s condition had already deteriorated and he would have collapsed without intubation because it would have taken a long time to reach the hospital due to traffic.
Ali’s family members said the hospitals did not keep them in the loop and they learnt about the death much later.
Taking cognisance of media reports about the incident, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered an inquiry.
Collector Avinash Lavania said the magisterial inquiry will investigate lapses in shifting the patient and if the family had been informed, adding that action will be taken against the guilty.
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