The body of a COVID-19 patient, who had gone missing from the prestigious Sunderlal Hospital at the Varanasi's Banaras Hindu University on Sunday, was found last night near a duct of the hospital's main building leading to protests from the man's family, who have accused the hospital of foul play.
The man was admitted to the BHU's trauma centre a week ago, but was shifted to the covid ward after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. On Sunday, he went missing from the ward and the police was informed. The patient's body was found on Monday night.
Angry relatives of the man raised slogans at the hospital, which also reported arson, and the police had to be called in. A close relative of the dead man has alleged that there were unexplained cuts on the body.
In a statement, the BHU administration said the patient could have been trying to escape, leading to his death.
"The CCTV footage was analysed in detail and we suspected that the patient had gone to one particular spot in the hospital. When we checked we found that the spot led to a duct pipe on the outer side of the hospital building. It appears that the patient tried to climb down from the second floor using the pipe and fell after the pipe burst. We found the body on the ground and immediately shifted it to the mortuary. The hospital administration also informed the police," the statement said.
The hospital's medical superintendent SK MATHUR has said that the man was admitted to the hospital with a head injury and later tested covid positive. "That patient was admitted with a head injury, so he may have been in an unstable mental state. He was responding well to the coronavirus treatment," Mr Mathur said.
This incident comes within 24 hours of a 21-year-old Covid patient jumping to his death from the fourth floor of the same hospital, hours after he had made a similar attempt to kill himself. At that time, other patients in the Covid ward had intervened and taken him back to his bed.
Authorities at the hospital said the young man had been brought to the emergency ward on August 16 and diagnosed with an unspecified "mental illness". He had later tested positive for coronavirus.
Uttar Pradesh has more than 1.92 lakh confirmed Covid cases so far, of which nearly 3,000 are deaths linked to the virus and around 49,000 are active cases.