Ranchi: Coronavirus patient dies outside while Health Minister inspects hospital
How Jharkhand's medical infrastructure has crumbled due to the rise in coronavirus cases was exposed on Tuesday when a coronavirus patient breathed his last outside a hospital in capital Ranchi just as the state's Health Minister, Banna Gupta, was conducting an inspection inside. The patient, identified as Pawan Kumar Gupta, was brought from Hazaribagh in the morning. He was in his late sixties.
The family members of the deceased revealed that they came to Sadar Hospital after they couldn't secure a bed at any of the private hospitals in the city. Not provided with any assistance, they waited for hours in the scorching heat with the patient and eventually lost him. In a video, that surfaced on social media, the deceased's daughter was seen wailing and shouting.
The clip showed the bereaved daughter leaving the facility with her father. After she saw the minister, she confronted him and said, "Mantri ji, doctor-doctor chillate reh gaye, koi doctor nahi aaya aadhe ghanta tak; khali vote lene ke liye aate hain (Mr. Minister, we cried for half-an-hour looking for a doctor, but no one came; you come only seeking votes)."
"Mantriji, doctor doctor chillate reh gaye koi poochne nahi aaya...yahan ka halat itna kharab hai, yahi mar mar gaye(papa) tadap tadap ke". In Jharkhand's capital, a wailing daughter tells the tale of sorry health infrastructure https://t.co/RV86wYgfgV pic.twitter.com/SS8aroB5Ye— Abhishek Angad (@abhishekangad) April 14, 2021
Left red-faced over the incident, Gupta asserted that when he learned about the circumstances in which the man died, he was shattered. "Any death is unfortunate," he said. Later on Tuesday, his office issued a statement saying that the Ranchi civil surgeon has been directed to conduct an investigation into the negligence and take necessary action against the guilty.
The second wave of coronavirus has hit Ranchi hard, with 879 out of 943 beds with oxygen support being occupied in private and government-run hospitals. The burden on health infrastructure can be gauged from the fact that in the last three weeks, over 144 people have succumbed to coronavirus-linked complications. By Tuesday, the state had 15,343 active coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, in a letter to Additional Health Secretary, dated April 12, the state's Health Secretary Kamal Kishore Soan estimated active cases to increase threefold by the end of this month. "As per current growth rate, Jharkhand estimates 33,000 to 35,000 active cases by last week of April, leading to high requirement of ventilators," he wrote, requesting that 1,500 ventilators are sent to the state.