A cancer patient from Bihar’s Sheikhpura district, who had been admitted to the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) in Patna after testing positive for the coronavirus on July 3, has been missing since July 6, his family has alleged. The hospital admitted that he is not the only Covid-19 patient to have gone missing.
The 52-year-old man had travelled to Patna for a monthly dose of injections as part of his ongoing cancer treatment. He was advised to take a Covid-19 test as per treatment protocol, and after testing positive for the virus, he was admitted to NMCH on July 3.
His nephew told The Indian Express, “On July 6, we found his mobile phone was switched off. We visited NMCH on July 7 and a doctor confirmed to us in writing that the patient was ‘not on bed’ but they did not own up responsibility.” The nephew said it had been a long torture for the family as the administrations of both Sheikhpura and Patna were not taking the matter forward.
Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said, “I have received an application from the family. I will ask the Patna SSP to initiate due action in the matter.”
NMCH hospital manager Pranay Kumar admitted that the 52-year-old was not the only patient who had gone missing. “There have been similar such cases, but not more than 10 in recent times. Though there is security at the main gate, it is difficult to identify patients, who can walk freely and move out saying they are patients’ relatives. In the Sheikhpura patient case, the Alamganj police station had searched for him unsuccessfully,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party state president (campaign) Jitendra Nath said, “I, as a neighbour (of the Sheikhpura patient) and political worker, took up the matter with the state government but to no avail. It is a serious matter. We are apprehensive of organ theft racket as some other Covid patients are also missing.”