The partially decomposed body of an 82-year-old woman was found in a toilet cubicle of a Jalgaon district government hospital in Maharashtra on Wednesday, 10 June. Malati Nehete had gone missing from the hospital, where she had been admitted with COVID-19 since 2 June.
Tragically, her death comes days after another family member, Tila Nehete, 60, died after waiting for six hours for an ICU bed at the Jalgaon civil hospital, reported The Indian Express.
According to the report, even though Malati has been missing for eight days, officials at the hospital did not check for her. They insisted that “she has simply walked away.” Apart from that, even though her body was lying in the toilet cubicle for days, no hospital authorities found it.
It was only after some patients complained that they couldn’t take the foul smell anymore, the cubicle door was opened by the hospital authorities and they found the old woman’s dead body lying there.
While the hospital claims Nehete walked out of her bed on her own, records show that at least three patients with breathing difficulties have died while trying to go to the toilet. These patients are were not provided bedpans and according to hospital authorities, hospital staff were not keen on helping them to the bathroom due to fear of infection.
So far, five officials of the hospital, including Dean Dr BS Khaire, have been suspended. The government has ordered a detailed probe into the incident.
Harshal Nehete, the grandson of the deceased woman is a marketing executive who lives in Pune. Since his father Tulsiram is recovering from COVID-19 in a private hospital in Nashik and his wife is pregnant, no one in the family could attend the funerals of his mother and grandmother.
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)