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‘My father could not get a ventilator bed for 10 hours in Pune city,’ says late activist’s son

Activist Ramdas Mhatre, who worked tirelessly for the welfare and upliftment of disabled people, succumbed to Coronavirus on Tuesday morning.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: April 15, 2021 7:20:54 pm
Pune newsMeanwhile, Sanjog Waghere, president of Pimpri Chinchwad NCP unit, said PCMC should increase ventilator and oxygen beds in its limits. (File Photo)

Highlighting the worsening shortage of ventilators in Pune, family of Ramdas Mhatre (63), who died two days back, has alleged that the activist did not get a ventilator bed for a good 10 hours in Pune. The family also said that 10 days after vaccination, the condition of the activist had worsened as the doctors failed to detect his illness.

“On April 2, my father’s blood oxygen level had dipped to 85 per cent…We then searched for a ventilator bed for nearly 10 hours in various hospitals in Pune city. I contacted several hospitals, but not one of them had a vacant ventilator bed… Luckily, we could get a bed in a Pimpri-Chinchwad hospital,” said Saurabh Mhatre, his son.

Saurabh said they admitted his father to the hospital on April 3 after he fell sick. “He was in the hospital till April 13. Initially, he was okay. We went to the hospital and met him, he looked fine. He was complaining of weakness and not able to eat food. However, later his condition deteriorated and slipped into a coma. He passed away on April 13,” said Saurabh.

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The family said initial few hours were very crucial as the activist’s oxygen level dipped. “If a ventilator bed was available during that period, he could have survived. The current situation highlights the plight of patients whose condition suddenly worsens,” he said.

Saurabh said his father was given Bharat Biotech’s vaccine. “About ten days later, my father fell seriously ill… My father had other comorbidities… He developed blood clots… I think the doctors failed to understand his illness before giving the vaccine.”

Another activist Manav Kamble and Ramdas Mhatre were the founding members of Jagrut Apang Sanghatna which was started in Pune in 1981 for the welfare of the disabled population.

“Ramdas Matre had worked relentlessly for bringing the disabled in the main stream of public life. Though Matre was a class one officer in government service, he was associated with the disabled movement which agitated and fought for uplifiting the lives of the disabled citizens,” Kamble said.

Matre, though confined to a wheel-chair, never lagged behind when it came to putting in his best efforts. He played a key role in dissemenating information and creating awareness about various government schemes for the disabled.

Meanwhile, Sanjog Waghere, president of Pimpri Chinchwad NCP unit, said PCMC should increase ventilator and oxygen beds in its limits. “Several patients are dying for want of oxygen and venitlator beds. PCMC should take initiative in installing more and more ventilators in its hospitals,” said Waghere in a letter to PCMC commissioner.

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