Delhi: Turned away by two hospitals, constable dies of coronavirus
Coronavirus claimed its first casualty in Delhi Police on Tuesday when 31-year-old constable Amit Kumar, who was asymptomatic till a day ago, passed away. He was declared dead on arrival by RML Hospital, but before that, the cop was refused admission by two government hospitals in the national capital. His colleagues claim they didn't receive help from senior officials either.
Kumar, who was posted at Bharat Nagar police station in the Northwest district, showed no coronavirus related symptoms till Monday. His fever spiked later and he complained of breathlessness too. His brother-in-law said Kumar didn't suffer from any ailments and was working till Monday. Belonging to Haryana's Sonepat, he is survived by his wife and three-year-old son.
Kumar's two colleagues who were with him since Monday told their appeals weren't entertained. One officer said Kumar stayed with him at his residence in Nehru Vihar on Monday. He started feeling cold and complained of breathlessness too. The next day at 8 am, he was taken to Delhi Police Haiderpur COVID testing center. He could only be tested and not admitted there.
"We were referred to Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital. We stood in a queue for a long time, and then the Bharat Nagar SHO spoke to a doctor. The doctor said he can be tested here but can't be admitted in case he is positive," he said.
The colleagues then took Kumar to Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital, where they were told to get his tests done at a facility in Ashok Vihar. They reached there around 2 pm and had to plead to authorities to take his samples. "They had done their day's share and were refusing to. Finally, the test was done," one colleague told IE.
Kumar was brought to the Nehru Vihar residence where he showed some improvement. He even talked with his wife on the phone. Around 7 pm, his condition dipped forcing his colleagues to carry him on their arms. The SHO told them he had spoken to a doctor at RML Hospital. The constable was declared dead on arrival at the medical facility.
"He was conscious in the car for a little while, we told him 'bhai, haunsla rakh', and he kept saying 'theek hai'. We were just two kilometres away when he lost all consciousness," one colleague said.
DCP Northwest Vijayanta Arya said 10 people who came in contact with Kumar have been sent for quarantine. "We saw the light go out in less than 24 hours. From a healthy man working till Monday to dying on Tuesday evening. We are in shock," one of his colleagues said. And another one wondered why were they risking lives if seniors couldn't help.