A family in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district was forced to carry the body of pregnant woman on a stretcher on Sunday after hospital authorities allegedly refused to give her an ambulance. The incident has triggered protests in the area, with people shouting slogans, demanding justice and action against doctors.
The woman's family alleges that she died due to the negligence of doctors. Officials say a probe has been ordered. A doctor and a nurse have been suspended.
A video of the family carrying the woman's body on a stretcher has been widely shared. The clip shows four to five grieving family members walking on an empty road with the woman's body, wrapped in a blanket, on the stretcher.
It seems COVID paranoia is seriously impairing our health system for critical care and maternity in Kashmir. In last 10 days, this is second death of a pregnant woman in Anantnag due to medical negligence. pic.twitter.com/EyS3DG56za— Nazir Masoodi (@nazir_masoodi) May 4, 2020
This is second case of alleged medical negligence which has led to the death a pregnant woman in the south Kashmir district in the last ten days.
The woman was moved to the Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) in Anantnag from sub-district hospital on Sunday morning after she was referred to the larger hospital. Her family alleged delay in her treatment at both the hospitals. Officials say she was declared brought dead at second hospital.
Bashir Ahmad Dar, Anantnag's Deputy Commissioner, claimed that her body was taken away by the family without completing the formalities because they feared that they might have to wait long for the burial if her sample was taken for COVID-19 testing.
"Preliminary reports suggest the dead body was taken away by relatives, fearing they will have to wait for burial if sample is taken for COVID test. Most unfortunate to say the least," Mr Dar wrote on Twitter.
Last week, another pregnant woman who had come from a COVID-19 red zone, died after delivering two stillborn babies. She was allegedly denied medical care on time. A day after her death, her coronavirus test showed a positive result.
A probe into the alleged negligence and mishandling of her body was ordered but so far, no action has been taken against any medical official.