Kin Of Dead Corona Patient From North Bengal Allege Negligence

The family of a deceased COVID-19 patient has alleged that the quarantine centre they were in was sub-par.

Updated
India
2 min read
The family of a COVID-19 patient from north Bengal who succumbed to the disease on 29 March has alleged that the quarantine facilities they are being kept in are sub-par and ill-prepared.
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The family of a COVID-19 patient from north Bengal who succumbed to the disease on 29 March has alleged that the quarantine facilities they were being kept in were sub-par and ill-prepared.

A woman, who local sources say is the niece of the deceased woman, took to her Facebook on 30 March to post a video describing their ordeal since the time her family was put into quarantine.

'Took 5 Hours To Cross 1.5 Hour Distance'

The woman said that she is a resident of Siliguri in North Bengal and her aunt, along with her daughter, had come to visit them after the daughter had an eye surgery.

On the same day, i.e. 19 March, they headed to the woman's extended family's home in Kalimpong. This home had over 15 people, say local sources.

The deceased was with them till 28 March. After she started showing symptoms, and medicines by local doctors did not work, 4 members of the family brought her back to Siliguri for a check up.

"We got to know that she had coronavirus at 5 pm. At 5 pm they (officials) came to our house and took the four of us to Jalpaiguri in a car. It is a distance of one and a half hours, but we only got here by 10pm," said the woman in the video.

She also expressed concern for the rest of her family in Kalimpong. Of the 26 people who were in close contact with the woman, seven, including the woman making the video, were taken to the Jalpaiguri Superspeciality Hospital on 29 March.

The seven consist of four members from the deceased's family, her house help, and two people from a diagnostic clinic where she got tested.

"The doctors who were conducting the screening did not know what questions to ask. They didn't know what to do," continued the woman.

The woman also claimed that the staff at the hospital were shocked to see potential COVID patients and did not know how to deal with them.

We Were Told No Food Will Be Provided

Once they reached the hospital at night, the woman said that they were told by the hospital staff that they will not be given food.

"We have kids with us. We can go without food, but how can we not give them food?" asks the woman.

"There is nothing in the room. Only beds have been put in place. Everything is dirty. There are no bathrooms and no isolation," she added.

She says that it was only after they protested that some food was given to them, which too was inedible. She also said that there was no drinking water and that all those in the facility, including the children, were drinking tap water.

The woman and six others were transferred to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, the COVID centre for North Bengal, in the afternoon on 31 March.

Health ministry officials are yet to comment on the allegations of lack of proper facilities and management for those who might have been affected by the virus.

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