In a brazen case of neglect, sanitation workers of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 facility, in Amritsar were seen carrying dustbins, containing bio-medical waste on wheelchairs and stretchers, which are also used for patients.
Even more appalling is the fact that the incident has surfaced amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, during which a lot of stress is being given by authorities and individuals on safety and hygiene in order to stay safe from the infection.
It is also noteworthy that Amritsar has the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths due to the infection in the state.
The attendants of the patients admitted at the hospital alleged that carrying of trash was ongoing due to neglect by the hospital administration and also raised questions over hygiene and other safety measures being followed inside the institution.
Raj Joshi, a relative of a patient admitted at the hospital said, "You can imagine the state of affairs inside the hospital going by what is being done with the waste. This is nothing more than playing with the lives of patients and their families. The government should provide them with trolleys for disposing of the waste."
Meanwhile, Dr Jugal Kishore, Civil Surgeon told ANI that it was a clear case of violation of rules regarding bio-medical waste.
"You cannot take the waste out on stretchers, it can be used for transporting medicines. It is a violation of the rules regarding bio-medical waste. I had no idea that this was happening. Although wastage has no connection with the spread of COVID-19, still it is wrong," Dr Kishore said.
Punjab, as per the Union Health Ministry, has 518 active COVID-19 cases, while 2,232 patients have been cured and discharged so far. As many as 55 deaths have been reported due to the infection from the state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)