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Missing Covid patient: Allahabad HC pulls up hospital and Prayagraj admin

The SSP said CCTV cameras at the medical facility were “not found functional”, and the official in charge of the local outpost “could not obtain CCTV footage”. The SSP said various efforts were being made to trace Yadav.

Written by Asad Rehman | Lucknow |
August 21, 2021 6:15:24 am
Hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by patient Ram Lal Yadav’s kin, the court on Thursday said the matter was of “serious concern”, and criticised the hospital administration and doctors for prima facie showing “gross negligence”.

The Allahabad High Court has pulled up a hospital in Prayagraj and district officials after a Covid-19 patient missing from the medical facility since May 8 remained untraceable. A two-judge Bench instructed the state government to trace the patient, a junior engineer in the Department of Electricity in New Delhi, and present him before the next date of hearing in a week.

Hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by patient Ram Lal Yadav’s kin, the court on Thursday said the matter was of “serious concern”, and criticised the hospital administration and doctors for prima facie showing “gross negligence”. The Bench of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Piyush Agrawal said the facts stated by the district senior superintendent of police (SSP) in his affidavit indicates an
“apathetic condition of TB Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj, where even CCTV cameras are non-functional”.

The court said it was undisputed that Yadav was admitted to the hospital for treatment after he tested positive for Covid-19. Pulling up the district administration, the Bench said, “Neither the district administration nor the police nor the hospital appears to be serious about the missing of the corpus [Yadav] although more than three months have passed since the missing report was registered.”

In his affidavit to the court, Prayagraj’s chief medical officer (CMO) said the hospital’s chief medical superintendent (CMS) “has the administrative and financial control over the aforesaid Hospital”. As per a report, dated August 18, submitted by the CMS, Yadav “was missing from his bed of the hospital since the morning of May 8”.

The SSP said CCTV cameras at the medical facility were “not found functional”, and the official in charge of the local outpost “could not obtain CCTV footage”. The SSP said various efforts were being made to trace Yadav.

Laying into the hospital, the court said the case “shows not only gross negligence and dereliction in duty by the Officers/Doctors/Staff of the TB Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj but also indicates total carelessness in treatment, look-after and safety of COVID patients at TB Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj”.

The judges said the matter requires the immediate attention of the principal secretaries of the departments of medical health and home “for immediate action and response, failing which this court may consider to call for the personal presence of both the aforesaid Principal Secretaries/Additional Chief Secretaries”.

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