A COVID-19-affected young patient died his residence in Liluah today allegedly without getting any ambulance to ferry him to a nearby hospital.

The incident happened at Guha Park in Liluah of Howrah early today when the youth complained of severe respiratory trouble. His family members tried to contact official helpline numbers of the district administration to get an ambulance to rush him to the nearby government Satyabala Infectious Disease (ID) Hospital.

“We desperately tried to contact the different helpline numbers of the district administration for an ambulance but no one received our frantic calls. We also made calls to agencies to hire private ambulance so that we can rush the patient to the hospital for immediate medical treatment. Unfortunately, the private ambulance operators in the area were unwilling to carry COVID patients,” a member of the deceased’s family alleged.

“He was suffering from coronavirus infections without showing any symptoms. But suddenly, he showed severe shortness of breath from Sunday night,” she said.

There has been an alarming surge in the number of COVID patients in Howrah. So far, the killer viral disease has claimed more than 210 lives affecting around 8500 people in the district.

Hardly, eight days ago a 68- year-old COVID suspect had died in front of the state-run Bongaon Sub-divisional Hospital in North 24 Parganas after no one came forward to board him into an ambulance to carry him to a hospital in Kolkata.

The patient unable to breathe was rushed to the subdivisional hospital on 26 July. His condition deteriorated at around 8 pm when concerned doctors referred him to a hospital in the city, more than 80 km away from Bongaon.

An ambulance was arranged but the elderly patient could not climb it. His wife tried to help him to get him into the vehicle by dragging him but he couldn’t. She pleaded for help from bystanders but no one came forward to help him.

Bystanders were found giving commentary as the helpless woman tried various ways to help her husband get on the ambulance. After a struggle of more than half an hour, he died on the spot