The death of an 85-year-old coronavirus patient at the district headquarters hospital in the early hours of Friday sparked tension as family members along with relatives of several other patients protested and alleged negligence.
Health officials said a “recalcitrant mob” entered the station and violated COVID protocols. According to information, the Chittoor collector M. Hari Narayanan had high-ranking officials rush to the site and pacify the demonstrators.
P. Saralamma, District Health Services Coordinator (DCHS) said The Hindu that the patient collapsed when he went to the bathroom in the early hours of the morning and died. “An unruly mob from Punganur stormed into the hospital and ignored the COVID logs,” he said.
The old man’s family members and relatives of other patients receiving treatment gathered in front of the hospital that morning and held a protest. They reported that patients were not being supplied with nutritious food and that staff repeatedly forced them to abstain from eating at night.
The protesters attributed the patient’s death to neglect by staff on the ward. It was further regretted that the patient’s body was left unattended on the ward for hours.
Meanwhile, the collector M. Hari Narayanan held a meeting with the staff of the COVID Task Force and said that tracing and verifying the contacts of the infected patients and testing them should be a top priority for them along with the right drugs.
COVID control room
The collector here inspected the COVID control room and inquired about the number of calls that were coming in from across the district. He said that immediate help was extended to those who sought help at the center.
The patients with breathing problems are being transferred to the COVID care centers and hospitals, and the patients who are isolated at home have been strongly advised to contact the triage centers for proper diagnosis and medical care.