52-yr-old Bengaluru Tailor Dies of Covid-19 at Hospital's Threshold after Staff Denies Admission

A 52-year-old man, who worked as a tailor in Bengaluru, died due to Covid-19 on Wednesday at the doorstep of Victoria Hospital which refused to admit him as officials said they were not informed by the civic authorities.

According to a report in The Times of India, the man was a resident of Cholurpalya and was running a temperature, cold and cough. A relative told the publication that he had volunteered to undergo tests and on Sunday morning, he was intimated by a private lab that he had tested positive for the viral infection.

As per protocol, the lab must not inform the patients right away and must instead upload the results on the website, from where the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) would access it and reach out to the patients.

The kin said that their struggle started as they began dialling several private hospitals in hope of getting him admitted, but all of them refused to do so and asked them to provide a letter from BBMP.

She added that the man then decided to put himself in isolation inside their home, but for more than two days, they were unable to get him admitted. In order to not infect his family, the man locked himself in a room on the first floor of their home.

But things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday night, when the man was not answering their phone calls, forcing them to break and enter. The woman said that they found him lying unconscious on the floor and they immediately called an ambulance, which took two hours to arrive.

They had hoped that Victoria Hospital would admit him, but as they tried to enter the hospital, the guard along with the staff stopped them after they informed them that they had a Covid-19 patient who was in a critical state.

The relatives were told that the patient could only be taken in if the civic administration provides a positive report to the hospital officials.

“We fought and begged them to let us in but to no avail. Around 2am, he died as he could not breathe,” the tailor’s son-in-law told ToI.

He added that they had to remain in the hospital and the body was kept in the ambulance till 12:30 pm on Wednesday. The son-in-law said that after the deputy CM Ashwath Narayan called BMRCI staff, the body was readied for cremation.

"We are yet to get the Covid report from BBMP officially,” the son-in-law was quoted as saying.

A woman relative said that the man passed away because of the policy that Covid-19 test reports should not be handed over to the patient or the kin directly. She believes that had the report been given the same day, his life could have been saved.

Victoria Hospital's in-charge superintendent Dr Chandrashekar H termed the incident as unfortunate. “There is a strict policy that the laboratory report must not be handed over to the patient and sent to the admitting hospital only through BBMP,” he told ToI.

He, however, added that the hospital is ready to take in patients if they are able to produce a report in the form of a message or email from the testing labs.

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