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Kolkata: Coronavirus patient discharged saying he has tested negative, called back saying he is positive, dies in hospital, son calls it a “murder”

"This is negligence. My father has been murdered. We want answers from MR Bangur Hospitals and the highest officials at the Health Ministry on why this happened. We want them to come here and give us answers.

A shocking case from West Bengal’s Kolkata has surfaced which highlights the pathetic situation West Bengal is currently in and the government’s complete incompetence in handling the Coronavirus pandemic. A 68-year-old Coronavirus patient who recently died in Kolkata, West Bengal, was discharged from MR Bangur Hospitals in Tollygunge in West Bengal, saying he had tested negative. But the next day his family he received a call from the health authorities saying that he was positive. After that the man was again admitted in the hospital, but he succumbed to the infection on Tuesday morning. The infected man spent a day with his family due to such flip-flop by hospital and health department, which now has created the risk of the entire family getting the infection.

The deceased’s family has alleged serious lapses on the part of the hospital administration. “This is negligence. My father has been murdered. We want answers from Bangur Hospitals and the highest officials at the Health Ministry on why this happened. We want them to come here and give us answers. Our family should be compensated,” said Om Prakash Gupta’s son, Raj Gupta.

On Monday, Raj Gupta used his cellphone to film his father leaving their house for hospital for the second time. Om Prakash never returned. Within 12 hours of being readmitted to the hospital, the coronavirus patient died.

Kolkata’s MR Bangur Hospitals negligence

“My father was admitted to Bangur (Hospital). They said he has tested positive and asked us to be under home quarantine. The next day, we got a call from Bangur Hospital, saying my father has tested negative and that he can leave. The discharge certificate clearly has ‘COVID-19 negative’ written on it. We then got a call from the Health Department saying that my father has tested positive again,” Raj Gupta said.

Last week, Om Prakash complained of symptoms like fever and cough and was admitted to the state-run MR Bangur Hospital on April 22. Raj Gupta says that on April 25, the Health Department phoned him to say his father had tested positive. The next evening, however, the hospital phoned Raj Gupta to say his father had tested negative and should be taken home.

When Raj Gupta pointed out that he was being given two diametrically opposite results, hospital officials curtly said that they wouldn’t have discharged him if they weren’t sure.

Merely after 12 hours of him returning home, the family got a call from the Swathya Bhavan on April 27, informing that Om Prakash Gupta was positive and said there was a mistake from the hospital’s side. They informed that an ambulance was on its way to pick up Om Prakash. In the morning of April 28, the hospital informed the 68-year-old patient’s family that he had succumbed to the infection.

“How can a person who walked on his own die? This is negligence. My father has been murdered”, exclaimed Raj Gupta.

“What kind of mismanagement and lack of coordination is this? My mother is 63-year-old, I have two small kids and my wife. In addition to mourning my father’s death, we are also worried as we might have also got the infection. My only request to the state government to make arrangement’s for our testing and proper treatment if any of us our found infected”, said the bereaved son.

Om Prakash’s wife, their son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren will be tested for COVID-19 next week on May 3.

Kolkata’s MR Bangur Hospitals keeps suspected Coronavirus patients near dead bodies

Another disturbing video had surfaced of an isolation ward in M.R.Bangur Hospital in Tollygunge in West Bengal that narrated the deplorable conditions under which suspected Coronavirus patients have been quarantined. 45 seconds into the video, the man holding the camera points towards a dead body lying unattended on a bed for over 2-3 hours.

The man alleged that no provisions had been made by the hospital authorities to dispose off the body. He then directs the viewers to another dead body that is concealed behind black curtains. The video creator then highlighted the lack of proper social distancing provisions in the ward by citing the example of two other suspected Coronavirus patients who are in close proximity to the body of the deceased.

West Bengal sitting on a Time Bomb

The suppression of facts and fudging of data has become a major worry for authorities and health experts in West Bengal, which has now snowballed into a huge controversy between the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government and doctors who are whistleblowing against the state government for forcing health authorities not to declare deaths from coronavirus unless certified by a state government-nominated panel.

According to a Sunday Guardian report, the manipulation of data on coronavirus cases by the Mamata Banerjee-led government, expectedly, has come under fire from officials of the Kolkata-wing of the Indian Council of Medical Research, who have blamed the TMC-led government for slowing down the mandatory tests related to the deadly virus.

The troubling part is that the state government has not even responded to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Central government’s declaration that the whole of Kolkata city and some of its districts should be declared as Coronavirus hotspots.

Mamata Banerjee Defiant

On April 20, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the formation of the Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) constituted by the Central Government for quick redressal of coronavirus crisis in states claiming that it is ‘not consistent with the spirit of federalism’.

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