April 5, 2021 11:55:49 pm
The Vadodara police has booked 60 people, including seven family members of a Covid-19 patient who died while under treatment at a private hospital in Dandiya Bazaar area, Monday after they vandalised the facility accusing doctors of negligence.
The mob allegedly went on a rampage on the hospital premises, assaulted a staffer, and damaged the oxygen supply pipes of the Covid-19 empanelled hospital putting other patients’ life at risk after their relative, Harshita Solanki (31) succumbed to the infection on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, police said.
Harshita’s husband Jitendra Solanki claimed the woman died due to “medical negligence” and the hospital had “wrongly given her treatment for Covid-19 although she had not tested positive” for the infection. The family and other unidentified persons allegedly broke the glass partitions of the hospital, damaged furniture, assaulted a hospital staffer by hitting him with an oxygen cylinder and also damaged pipes of the oxygen supply to other patients, police said.
Raopura police officials, who are investigating the case, booked 60 people, including Harshita’s husband, father, father-in-law and mother-in-law under Indian Penal Code Sections 143 for being part of an unlawful assembly, 147 for rioting, 323 voluntarily causing hurt, 427 for mischief causing damage to property, 506 for criminal intimidation, 204 (b) for using obscene words, and 270 for malignant act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life. The police have also booked the mob under Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, for refusing to comply with the direction of the government in place in regard to night curfew and assembly and Section 135 of the Gujarat Police Act, 1951 for contravention of directions.
The family has also been booked under various sections of the Gujarat Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property), 2012, under which the onus of paying the damages to the hospital would lie on the family, if the court so directs.
Meanwhile, the family alleged that Harshita did not have Covid-19 but was “forcibly admitted” to the hospital and given wrong treatment, resulting to her death.
In a statement, the hospital authorities said the patient was brought in with a low oxygen-saturation level on March 31 and had developed pneumonia during admission. “Her RT-PCR report was positive for Covid-19 on April 1 and she was accordingly treated. When she was brought in her SpO2 was below 50 and she was in a critical condition. The same had been explained to the family and they had even submitted the deposit money to the hospital to begin the treatment. The hospital did not charge them any other money after that. We had recommended the use of Tocilizumab injection and the family had consented to it. Their allegations of the patient being given wrong medical treatment are false,” the statement read.
Police sub-inspector PV Chaudhari of Raopura police station, the investigating officer, said, “The family was refusing to clear the bill for the treatment the patient received since her admission on March 31, which caused the delay in handing over of her body. The body is currently kept in the cold room at SSG Hospital and an autopsy will be performed tomorrow to ascertain the cause of death. The hospital has already submitted her reports, which said she had tested positive for Covid-19. We are awaiting the autopsy report following which we will take further action and arrest the accused.”
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