J&K Hosp Bars Entry Without COVID Test, Woman Gives Birth Outside

At the hospital, she was told by a doctor to get tested for COVID-19 before getting admitted.

2 min read
A woman gave birth to a baby outside J&K hospital while waiting for her COVID-19 test report.

A woman gave birth to a baby in the backyard of Community Health Centre Sumbal in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Tuesday, 24 June, as hospital authorities refused to admit her, citing her pending COVID-19 test report.

Zareefa Begum, wife of Mohammad Saleem Najar, was taken to the hospital on Tuesday morning after she complained of severe pain.

At the hospital she was told by a doctor to get tested for COVID-19 before getting admitted. As her samples were taken, her pain grew, making family members anxious.

"She was in pain and we took her to Sumbal hospital. As we reached, a lady doctor told us to get her tested for COVID-19 first. After the test, her pain doubled but authorities still didn't provide any help. They said to get her test result first, which would have taken at least one or two days," her brother Riyaz Ahmad told The Quint.


When no one from the hospital came forward to help her, the people around gathered to help Zareefa, who was in severe pain. A cover-roll was brought from a nearby place and the lady was laid down on the stone-covered surface.

The people around made sure she is covered as her family members helped her deliver the baby.

"As none from the hospital was bothered we thought we should do something and managed a plastic cover-roll. A few ladies accompanying the woman helped her give birth to the baby while we were covering the lady. The surface was covered by stones; it really was a horrific scene," Hilal Ahmad, an eyewitness, who had also come to get tested for COVID-19, told The Quint.

The family was unsure if the mother and child would survive as they hadn't expected to see Zareefa, who comes from a small village, Anderkoot in Sumbal area of Bandipora, give birth in such tough circumstances.

"What they (hospital authorities) did to us, shouldn't happen to anyone. The baby was delivered in the backyard of the hospital. If this is how the life saviours will act, what can we expect? But, thankfully, both mother and child survived," said Zareefa's brother Riyaz.

The hospital authorities, however, said the incident unfolded because it was a preterm birth.

"It was a preterm birth due to which this happened," Dr Ajaz Kanth, the Block Medical Officer (BMO), told The Quint.

When asked why wasn't the lady allowed to enter the hospital despite labour pain, Dr Ajaz said that he has constituted a committee to look into the matter.

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