After being allegedly refused treatment and even a coronavirus test by at least five hospitals in Delhi, a 42-year-old man with all symptoms of COVID-19, including high fever, was forced to travel 800km to Bhopal where he died the day after his arrival.
In Delhi, his wife, on hearing of her husband's death, suffered an asthma attack and was rushed to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital by their 15-year-old daughter, but was refused admission. The woman was finally admitted to a facility in Noida.
While the teen has been placed under quarantine at home, her 19-year-old brother who studies in Bhopal has been placed under institutional quarantine at the Chirayu hospital there.
इस बच्चे के पिता को 5 दिन #दिल्ली में अस्पताल नहीं मिला, भोपाल आए दो दिन में दम तोड़ दिया, दिल्ली में मां का अटैक आया अस्पताल नहीं मिला, नोएडा में भर्ती हैं. 15 साल की बहन #क्वारेंटीन, भाई भोपाल में क्वारेंटीन @ndtvindia@ArvindKejriwal@drharshvardhan@BJP4India@AamAadmiPartypic.twitter.com/DJ5PD2Dgi1— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) June 8, 2020
The incident, yet another case of patients allegedly being turned away by Delhi hospitals to patients, has invited criticism from the Madhya Pradesh government.
It has also put a question mark on the claims of screening at railway stations as the man, who worked for a private firm in Delhi, had high fever when he boarded the Bhopal Express from Delhi.
The Railways has initiated contact-tracing exercise, an official said.
Talking to NDTV over the phone, the man's son, who is studying for medical entrance exams, said his father had been unwell with coronavirus symptoms for at least eight days.
"He went to the local clinic where he was given paracetamol and sent home. Then he went to the GTB Hospital and requested for a Coronavirus test, but was refused. Then my father's health really deteriorated. My uncle, who is a hospital lab technician, told him to come to Bhopal. He arrived on Saturday by Bhopal Express. We took him directly to the Jai Prakash District Hospital from where he was referred to the Hamidia Hospital. His oxygen level was critically low. Doctors took him to the ICU, put him on ventilator and he died the next day," the young man said.
"My mother suffered an asthma attack and collapsed after hearing about my father's death. My 15- year-old sister took her to a government hospital in Delhi, but was turned away. She was finally admitted to an isolation ward in Noida's Metro Hospital," the teenager said, adding that his sister is alone at their home in Delhi.
Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Narottam Mishra blamed Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government for the man's death.
"Kejriwal won the elections in the name of Mohalla clinics and providing health services. He cheated the people to win the elections. When time to test these facilities came, a promising person died. He wandered around Delhi for five days but did not get treatment. By the time he reached Bhopal, his condition deteriorated and it was too late to save him. It is sad that he could not be saved," the minister said.