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Denied admission by 5 hospitals, 51-year-old Covid-19 patient dies in Thane

By Ankita G Menon, Thane
PUBLISHED ON JUN 14, 2020 01:02 AM IST

A 51-year-old resident of Lokmanya Nagar, Thane, died on Thursday after she was allegedly denied treatment by four private hospitals designated for Covid-19 treatment as well as the civic-run Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa.

Last week, TMC commissioner Vijay Singhal had said private hospitals cannot reject patients. The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has now said it will inquire into the incident.

“We are not aware of this situation yet, but we shall appoint an official to inquire about the incident. Despite repeated warnings, hospitals have been flouting norms and refusing patients, and this is a punishable act. We shall take necessary action to ensure that such practices are not repeated,” said Vishwanath Kelkar, deputy municipal commissioner, TMC.

The woman’s 22-year-old son said she fell ill on Tuesday.

“We approached our physician, who recommended some tests and gave medicines. However, the next day, my mother started experiencing breathlessness, following which we rushed her to a private hospital near our house. But they said they did not have enough ventilators and denied her admission. I then took her to three other private hospitals on my two-wheeler, as we could not arrange for any other vehicle. But the other three hospitals also refused to admit her on various grounds. We then took her to the Kalwa hospital, where she was given oxygen for an hour and discharged,” the son said.

According to the woman’s son, the civic-run hospital had informed that ventilators have to be reserved only for emergencies. “She continued to find it difficult to breathe, so the next day, early in the morning, we rushed her to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital. There was a lot of rush and for about an hour, we had to shuffle between departments to seek an admission. During the course of this period, my mother had not been given any medical aid, and her situation worsened. Finally, a doctor suggested a Covid-19 test. She passed away moments after she was admitted. If my mother would have received proper treatment on visiting the Kalwa hospital the first time, her life could have been saved,” the son said.

The woman’s Covid-19 test result came positive the same evening she died, following which her husband and three children have also been tested for the virus and are awaiting their results. They have been quarantined at their home in Indira Nagar. The woman and her husband ran a shop near their home. While their 22-year-old works with a private firm, the other two children are studying.

In similar incidents, a pregnant woman as well as a 13-year-old also lost their lives after they were not admitted to hospitals in Mumbra.

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