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Mumbai coronavirus outbreak: A 25-year-old with no underlying medical conditions dies after 3 days in the hospital

"Shift me to a private hospital. I haven’t had a sip of water since the previous day. Nobody is here to even fix my oxygen mask. Do you think I will come out it this alive?" The deceased Pradip Mali had allegedly told his brother over the phone.

The scourge of Wuhan coronavirus continues to exacerbate in the financial capital of India. Recently, it snuffed out the life of a 25-year-old Mumbai resident, a doting father to a one-and-half-year-son, with no underlying conditions, says a report published by the Times of India.

Pradip Mali, now deceased, reportedly consulted a physician after he developed a cough on April 14. After an x-ray was done, the physician said that Pradip’s lungs appeared cloudy and filled with a cough. He was asked by the doctor to take a COVID-19 test and get admitted if necessary. After being turned away by two private hospitals, Mali was admitted to Kasturba hospital on April 16.

Before Pradip got admitted to the Kasturba hospital, he had gone to the Saifee hospital at Charni road which allegedly asked him to furnish COVID-19 positive report as it was a dedicated coronavirus hospital and was authorised to admit only positive coronavirus patients. His brother then took him to HN Reliance hospital at Charni Road which said that they have stopped testing coronavirus and referred them to Kasturba hospital.

Pradip was tested at Kasturba hospital where his report had come positive for the novel coronavirus. A day later, his family of 9-Pradip’s parents, wife and child, his brother Pankaj, his family, and other relatives were quarantined at a hotel.

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According to Pradip’s brother Pankaj, his brother initially seemed fine but was put on oxygen support. Pankaj remembers that towards the end his brother kept asking if he could be shifted to a private hospital, to which Pankaj reassuringly responded that once his condition stabilises, he would be shifted a private hospital.

“Shift me to a private hospital. I haven’t had a sip of water since the previous day. Nobody is here to even fix my oxygen mask. Do you think I will come out it this alive?” were some of the desperate pleas made by Pradip to his brother Pankaj on his last phone calls.

Helpless, since he was himself quarantined at a hotel, Pankaj frantically called the ward 30 where Pankaj was admitted and asked nurses to feed his brother with water. “The nurses came and gave him water after I called. They also tried to fix his oxygen mask but he was constantly removing it. After I called my brother’s phone a few times, someone switched of his phone,” said Pankaj.

Pankaj added that the last time they spoke was on Sunday morning at 5 am when Pradip complained that he had not had water since Saturday. He also told Pankaj that his oxygen mask was not in place and there was nobody in the ward to fix it. Pradip then implored his brother if staffers at Kasturba hospital could pay a little more attention towards him. On Sunday 4 pm, Pradip breathed his last at Kasturba, where he had come walking three days ago.

However, refuting the allegations of negligence towards patients, Medical superintendent of Kasturba Dr Chandrakanth Pawar said it was impossible that patients were not being taken care of. “Patients are admitted here in critical condition. We are treating them with medications and treatment protocol the Union government has recommended,” he said, adding even those without any underlying conditions can deteriorate. 

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