- The woman was taken to Sarojini Naidu Medical College in Agra
- She was hospitalised with breathing difficulties, symptom of COVID-19
- Her coronavirus test report is still awaited
A man frantically attempts CPR on a woman who is slumped on a bed, and shouts for a doctor, in a disturbing video that has emerged from a hospital in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The 61-year-old woman, the man's mother, died in his arms on Monday morning.
"Her last words to me were - you should have just let me die at home," weeps Mohit Sharma, the man from the video, in a phone interview to NDTV.
He had taken his mother Mamata Sharma to the city's Sarojini Naidu Medical College in the early hours of Monday. Her COVID-19 report is still awaited.
In videos in circulation on social media, Mr Sharma accuses doctors and paramedical staff at the hospital of being indifferent to his mother's medical condition and even refusing to come near her, since she was admitted to the hospital with breathing difficulties - one of the symptoms linked to coronavirus.
SN Medical College is Agra's biggest government hospital and is also the nodal centre for COVID-19 treatment in the city that is UP's biggest coronavirus hotspot.
On video, as he tries to revive his mother, Mr Sharma is heard shouting: "Bula do, phone kar do (call them)."
She died moments later, around 10.30 am on Monday morning, says Mr Sharma.
Mamta Sharma had been suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a breathing disorder, for the last three years. On Sunday night, her condition worsened and Mr Sharma decided to take her to the closest hospital.
"But a doctor I know told me no hospital was admitting patients without a coronavirus test," Mr Sharma said.
"I then took her to the surgical ward of the SN Medical College. A doctor asked me what the issue was and sent me to another room. I met another doctor. I told this doctor her condition had nothing to do with COVID-19 and that she had the same issue for three years. This doctor asked me to get her paperwork done. I did that. Then I was asked to take her to a ward on the first floor. I later figured out it was an isolation ward," he says in another video describing his nightlong ordeal.
Mr Sharma claims he had to take his mother up one floor to the isolation ward without any help. "No one wanted to touch her," he says. "On my way to the ward, the doctors said there were cylinders and nebulizers in the ward and I should use them. But I just could not figure out how to use them. I had to repeatedly approach the ward boys and the guards outside the gate who told me how to operate the equipment but refused to go near my mother," he says.
Mr Sharma told NDTV he went to the doctors' room on the ground floor thrice on Monday morning, with no luck.
A senior Uttar Pradesh official said he had ordered an inquiry into whether the woman was denied treatment.
"I want to ensure that everyone who needs to get treated for conditions other than COVID-19 should get admission into hospital. Some local newspapers have printed news of a woman dying, I have ordered an enquiry into whether the patient was treated or not," said Alok Kumar, a senior bureaucrat recently appointed by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to oversee the coronavirus response in Agra.