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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Delhi: Anger spills into violence at Apollo hospital

Police said a 62-year-old woman from Madanpur Khadar was taken to Apollo Hospital but was asked to look for another hospital as they were out of beds.

Written by Jignasa Sinha , Mallica Joshi | New Delhi |
Updated: April 29, 2021 2:13:38 pm
Apollo Hospital, Covid-19 India Second Wave, Delhi coronavirus cases, Delhi reported deaths, Delhi active covid-19 cases, Delhi news, indian expressAt Apollo Hospital on Tuesday

Violence broke out at Apollo Hospital Tuesday morning after a woman died at the hospital due to Covid-related complications.

Police said a 62-year-old woman from Madanpur Khadar was taken to Apollo Hospital but was asked to look for another hospital as they were out of beds. She was later admitted to the hospital but died early Tuesday morning. Following her death, a fight broke out between the woman’s son and the security guard.

The hospital has 440 beds for Covid patients and is also catering to patients in the emergency ward in many cases. It has 90 Covid ICU beds. All of them are full.

Due to lack of beds in government and private hospitals, many patients who need hospitalisation are being turned away.

“The man slit his wrist. He fought with the guard because his mother wasn’t given admission in time. We haven’t received an official complaint from the hospital,” said a senior police officer.

Videos of the incident were shared online. One video from the Emergency Medicine block shows blood on the floor and torn curtains inside the hospital.

The other video is of the fight outside the hospital building. A staffer is seen hitting a man with a stick. He is followed by two-three security guards. Meanwhile, relatives of the woman fight with staffers and hit them.

In a statement issued in the evening, the hospital said, “The hospital received a lady in a critical condition at the Emergency in the early hours of April 27. Immediate medical attention was given to her by the team. Given the paucity of beds, the family was advised to shift the patient to another facility with available beds. Unfortunately, the patient died at around 8 am, post which the patient’s family members resorted to vandalism, destruction of hospital property and assault on our doctors and staff. The situation was brought under control by hospital security staff and the police. While the hospital deeply condoles the death of the patient, it is deeply shocked at the behaviour of the patient’s family against doctors and healthcare workers who are providing untiring services amidst the pandemic.”

DCP (Southeast) RP Meena said the old woman and her family came to Apollo around 2 am on Tuesday. “She had Covid and was on oxygen support. The family was waiting in the emergency area. Around 8 am, she died.”

“The videos from the hospital show the guards and staffers hitting the relatives with sticks. On investigation, we found they were trying to disperse family members. Our team reached the spot in 10 minutes and controlled the situation. Both parties haven’t filed a complaint in the matter,” said the police.

A few staff members of the hospital also sustained minor injuries and are stable.

A senior doctor said the frustration of not being able to find a bed for loved ones is eating away at relatives. “Our hands are tied. We have no beds. We are overwhelmed and it is physically and mentally harrowing,” he said.

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