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55-year-old Covid-19 patient dies waiting for ambulance

Body was lying at Habra hospital till noon & hospital authorities did nothing, alleges family

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Another Covid-19 patient died today in Habra of North 24 Parganas allegedly without getting an ambulance, hardly 31 days after the same incident had happened in Liluah of Howrah town on 3 August.

Today, a 55-year-old Manoara Bibi of Natunhat Bazar in Habra was taken to the state-run Habra Hospital after showing symptoms of fever and shortness of breath on Thursday. Considering her Covid-like symptoms, doctors advised her a rapid test that revealed that she was a carrier of coronavirus.

Doctors referred her to another hospital where Covid positive patients are treated. But her relative did not get an ambulance to rush her to the Covid hospital after waiting for more than three hours.

In the meantime, the patient’s condition deteriorated and she died. Family members of the deceased alleged that the ambulance came after the patient died around 3.30 am on Friday.

They alleged that despite numerous calls to the health department’s helpline numbers, there was no response to provide an ambulance.

The body of the Covid patient was lying at the Habra Hospital till noon and hospital authorities did not take any necessary action to dispose of it, they alleged.

On 3 August, a Covid-affected youth of Guha Park area in Liluah had died without getting an ambulance.

His family members had 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 different helpline number 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 had alleged.

Back at the end of July, in another incident, a 68-yearold 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 could not breathe and was rushed to the sub-divisional 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.