Bhopal: Two distressingly similar cases of families being forced to use two-wheelers to carry relatives - both suspected COVID-19 cases - because they were refused ambulances by hospitals have emerged from Madhya Pradesh.
In the first case, Pandu Chandane, 60, a resident of Indore's Badwali Chowki - which is one of the city's coronavirus containment areas, had trouble breathing and visited the hospital on Monday. According to his brother, the staff there simply prescribed some medicines and sent him home.
The following day, as his condition worsened, the family called the hospital for an ambulance but were refused one. Left with no option, they rushed him to the outpatient department (OPD) of the state-run Maharaja Yeshwantrao (MY) Hospital on a small two-wheeler. Unfortunately he was declared dead by the time they reached the hospital.
The family's allegations have been refuted by Dr Pravin Jadia, Indore's chief medical officer. "The man had gone to the hospital on Monday and returned home that day. On Tuesday he was first taken to a private hospital, from where he was referred to MY Hospital. But when he reached there he was declared brought dead," Dr Jadia said.
A second incident was reported from Khadakpura area in Khandwa district, where Sheikh Hamid, 65, was also refused an ambulance. Already suffering from blood sugar problems and high blood pressure, he was finally rushed to hospital on a scooter, but died before reaching medical aid.
The Khadakpura area has now recorded 14 COVID-19 cases and been declared a containment zone.
The Indore incident has snowballed into a political storm, with senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Arun Yadav urging Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to pay more attention to the health crisis in "your city of dreams - Indore".
"Shivraj Singhji, you can praise yourself as much as you want. But please see this video from your city of dreams - Indore - in which this patient went running after three hospitals, still didn't get an ambulance and got only "death"! His body was taken to hospital on a Scooty!" Yadav tweeted.
The state's ruling BJP hit back through spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal, who accused the Congress of "jumping the gun before getting details".
"Congress is in the habit of jumping the gun before getting details. Any death is unfortunate. The government will look into this matter," he said.
Across India the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has crossed 11,900 and 392 deaths have been linked to the virus. Worldwide the number of infected is now around 20 lakh and the dead 1.26 lakh.
|Bhopal - The City of Lakes|
|HOTELS & RESTAURANTS|
|ART & CULTURE|
|MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS|
|TECHNICAL UNIVERSITIES & INSTITUTIONS|
|MEDICAL COLLEGES & HOSPITALS|
|UNIVERSITIES & ACADEMIES|
|Tourist Attractions in M.P.|
|NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES|
|HISTORICAL & ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPORTANT PLACES|
|HERITAGES & MONUMENTS|