Patients left unattended for entire days and visited by stray dogs roaming around the ward at night - a 42-year-old coronavirus patient has died at a hospital in Bihar after accusing its authorities of these glaring lapses and more in a Facebook Live video. The incident has triggered a massive outcry in the state that has been debating the upcoming assembly elections and its ability to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Narendra Varnwal was admitted to the newly set up 160-bed COVID-19 isolation ward at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Bettiah, around 200 km from state capital Patna, on Monday.
However, he claimed that until Tuesday, he had not been visited by doctors or medical staff.
"No one comes here for any treatment. You have to shout fifty times to get someone's attention. There is no system here. The government brags about the arrangements here but stray dogs roam around the ward at night. Please save my life, make this video go viral," Narendra Varnwal said in his video.
He also talked about going live on Facebook again but that chance never came. He died on Wednesday.
The incident has sparked massive anger in Bihar where there have been complaints of an ill-prepared healthcare system and not enough testing. Civil society groups in Bettiah have accused the administration of a lackadaisical effort.
Hospital and district authorities, however, have firmly denied any lapses.
"The team of the district administration has also investigated the incident after the video went viral and reached GMCH. No deficiencies were found in the system. Cleanliness has also improved. The patient's condition was critical," Bettiah Collector Kundan Kumar said in a statement.
Bihar has reported 31,691 coronavirus cases including 212 deaths.