The family of a 50-year-old Covid patient has alleged he died on a stretcher outside Lok Nayak Hospital waiting for treatment — a claim denied by the hospital administration.
According to Azam (34), his brother Imtiaz Ashraf Ali, for over three hours on Wednesday afternoon, lay in the sun outside the hospital even as Azam tried to get him a bed inside. Ali had tested positive for Covid-19 and was referred to Lok Nayak from Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital.
As the anxious family waited, Azam said Ali’s condition continued to deteriorate. At 3.30 pm, he stopped moving. Doctors declared him dead and his body was sent to the mortuary.
“We left DDU hospital around 12.30-1 pm. An ambulance dropped Ali bhai outside the hospital gate, on the ground. When we got there soon afterwards, we were shocked. My brother couldn’t breathe and was shivering… I was scared. I spoke to the receptionist and some doctors; they told me they have no beds and we’ll have to wait,” claimed Azam.
Azam said his brother was eventually placed on a stretcher out in the open, and a doctor came at one point to check up on him and tell the family that a bed will be made available soon.
Azam said his brother’s condition, meanwhile, continued to worsen. “My brother finally closed his eyes… It was all over,” he said.
Doctors at Lok Nayak Hospital denied the family’s allegations. Dr Ritu Saxena, DMS, Lok Nayak Hospital, said Ali died at 4 pm inside the hospital. “He died during treatment,” she said.
On Thursday, Azam was called by the hospital to collect Ali’s body. He leaves behind his wife and two children.
According to Azam, Ali lived in Subhash Nagar with his family and worked at a plastic factory. He had recently rejoined work after his employer called him back. But a few days later, he complained of fever. The family took him to a clinic, where the doctor gave him medicines for viral. When Ali’s condition worsened, they took him to DDU Hospital.
“We took him to DDU on Sunday after he complained of fever and breathlessness. He was tested and admitted. He had to share the oxygen cylinder with a patient lying nearby,” he alleged.
Doctors at DDU denied the allegation. “We have plenty of oxygen cylinders. We have a gas pipeline and even a liquid oxygen plant. The patient was shifted when his Covid report came back positive. As DDU is a non-Covid hospital, he had to be shifted to Lok Nayak,” said a senior doctor at the hospital.
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