An 80-year-old Covid-19 patient missing from Shatabdi Hospital in Mumbai’s Kandivali was found dead near railway tracks a few kilometres away. Mayor Kishori Pednekar Tuesday ordered a probe into the incident.
Vitthal Muley, resident of Malad Appa Pada slums, was admitted in Shatabdi hospital on June 6 after complaints of weakness, fever and stomach ache. On the morning of June 8, the hospital informed his family that he was missing from the ward.
According to the family, Muley had been admitted to the hospital’s Covid-19 ward while his test results were still awaited. After his result came positive, other family members were also quarantined.
“He was very scared. When he was admitted, there was a body in the next bed for hours,” said Pravin Raut, Muley’s grandson. Since the family was also quarantined, they could contact him only over the phone.
“On June 8, we got a call from the hospital saying my grandfather had not been on his bed for the past half-an-hour. We were shocked. We called on his phone, and somebody answered and told us he had not been on his bed since 5am. Then I sent my friend there to find out, and a doctor said my grandfather was ‘absconding’ and police had been informed,” Raut told The Indian Express.
There is no CCTV footage as the hospital camera was not working. After more than 12 hours, Raut’s friend heard that a man had been found dead on the railway track near Borivali station and his body had been moved to Shatabdi hospital.
“My friend was told he was found dead around 7 am, and within an hour, his body was sent to Shatabdi hospital marked as ‘unclaimed’. The hospital didn’t contact us. In the evening, we asked them to show us the body, which is when we identified him,” said Raut, alleging serious negligence by the hospital.
Later, local BJP corporator Vinod Mishra filed a complaint with BMC and demanded a probe. “This is shocking. How can a man go missing and his body be found on railway tracks? There should be action against the hospital administration,” said Mishra.
Mayor Pednekar along with health committee chairperson Amey Ghole visited Shatabdi hospital on Tuesday. “Prima facia, security guards are responsible as they did not pay attention. I have ordered a probe, “said Pednekar.
The hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Pramod Nagarkar is also in the ICU with symptoms of Covid-19. His reports are awaited. “I have been ill for a few days now,” he said.
Dr Shantaram Kawde, in-charge in the hospital, said an inquiry has begun into the incident.
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