2 brothers die in MP as doctor fails to refer them to Covid hospital
The Collector of Raisen district issued a show cause notice to a doctor holding him responsible for the deaths.Updated: Apr 27, 2020 23:36 IST
Two brothers in Raisen district died of coronavirus in a span of 48 hours in a hospital in neighbouring Bhopal while four others in the family have been hospitalised after it emerged that the doctor treating them did not refer them to a dedicated Covid-19 hospital, officials said.
The developments also forced Raisen’s superintendent of police to send 57 police personnel who dealt with one of the deceased to quarantine centres and ask their family members to self-isolate.
District collector Umashankar Bhargava on Monday issued a show cause notice to a doctor posted as medical officer in the district hospital holding him responsible for the deaths, and terming his act as tantamount to a serious crime under Madhya Pradesh Civil Service Conduct Rules, 1965.
According to the show cause notice, the doctor treated the elder brother, a trader who ran a tiffin service, in his private hospital since April 17 but didn’t advise him to go to a dedicated Covid hospital. He did not inform the administration and his seniors either in health department.
Those hospitalised from the affected family include parents of the deceased, their younger brother and the eldest brother’s wife.
The eldest brother who was 45 years old died on Friday in Hamidia hospital in Bhopal. As he was a suspected case of Covid-19 the district administration did not allow the body to be carried to Raisen. After due procedure by the health department, the body was handed over to his wife who cremated it alone with the assistance of her friend. Later, she was hospitalised.
The test of his sample which came after his death suggested that he was suffering from Covid-19. Later, his younger brother who was 40-year-old and ran a coaching centre at Raisen too died in the same hospital on Sunday. He was cremated by their youngest brother in Bhopal, who was later hospitalised with symptoms of Covid-19.
The parents of the deceased have been hospitalised in Raisen district hospital, district collector Bhargava said.
“The eldest among brothers had symptoms like fever, cough and respiratory problem on April 12 itself. He went to the private hospital of Dr Deepak Gupta who is posted as a government doctor in the district hospital at Raisen, on April 17. Neither he advised the patient to go to a dedicated Covid hospital nor did he inform the administration. On April 20, the patient went to the district hospital from where he returned home. Again when he came to the district hospital on April 22 his condition was serious. He was referred to Hamidia hospital in Bhopal where he died on April 24,” the DC said.
“His younger brother was referred to the Bhopal hospital on April 24 where he died on April 26.”
The collector’s notice to Dr Deepak Gupta said, “Despite seeing the Coronavirus symptoms and being a government doctor you treated the patient (eldest brother) in your private hospital which resulted in death of two persons. Hence, your act being tantamount to a serious crime under MP Civil Service Conduct Rules, 1965 is a punishable act. You are expected to give reply to the notice within 48 hours otherwise one-sided action will be taken against you. Since you are under home quarantine this notice is being served to you through WhatsApp and you are expected to reply through WhatsApp only.”
Superintendent of police, Raisen district Monika Shukla said, “Fifty seven police personnel who took food packets from the tiffin centres have been quarantined and their family members asked to self-isolate. The samples of the police personnel are being collected to send it for tests.”
She said, “The deceased who ran the tiffin centre should have told us about his condition when he developed the symptoms. But he didn’t. In a way his act of concealing his disease and continuing his business of tiffin centre was a criminal act. But since he is no more we can’t lodge an FIR against him.”
Dr Gupta claimed he was being made a scapegoat.
“I examined him on April 17 in good faith. He had only fever and no symptom of Coronavirus. I advised him to go to district hospital if he has any problem. Had he had any symptom of coronavirus why I would have exposed myself to the threat of contracting the virus. I have my family and children too. He went to the district hospital twice on April 20 and 22. On both occasions two different doctors examined him but they too didn’t find any symptom of coronavirus in him. Even in Hamidia hospital where he was referred the doctors didn’t see any symptom in him. But unfortunately I am being made a scapegoat.”