Ahmedabad, Apr 29 (PTI) Chaos prevailed outside a newly-inaugurated 900-bed COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad as people flocked there in large numbers since early morning on Thursday with a hope to secure admission for their ailing family members and relatives.
People unable to get beds for their relatives suffering from coronavirus were disappointed, while an auto- rickshaw driver rammed his vehicle into barricades put up near the hospital in a desperate attempt to enter the premises.
The COVID-19 Dhanvantari hospital has been set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the Gujarat government in the premises of the Gujarat University Convention-cum-Exhibition Centre at GMDC ground here.
Following a rap from the Gujarat High Court, the state government had on Wednesday announced that coronavirus patients coming in private vehicles will be admitted to the hospital through a token system.
Ambulances carrying patients are allowed to straightway enter the hospital premises.
The government had announced that people need to collect a form from the hospital between 8 am and 9 am and submit it back with required documents to get a token.
The hospital will then call the patients, who have the token, as per the availability of beds, said a government release on Wednesday.
On learning about the new system from the media, hundreds of people, many unaware of rules, queued up outside the hospital with a hope to get a bed for their relatives down with COVID-19.
Many people came with critical COVID-19 patients, who were on oxygen support, in their cars and even in auto- rickshaws, hoping that admission would be quick.
However, people ran out of patience as soon as the form distribution stopped in an hour at 9 am.
An auto-rickshaw driver, after failing to get the token for his relative, rammed his vehicle into barricades put up near the hospital in a desperate attempt to enter the premises.
A video of the incident went viral on social media platforms.
An elderly woman, who claimed to be infected with COVID-19, said she has been running from one hospital to another since the last three days to get a bed for herself.
'I am a coronavirus patient and I have been sick for the last 20 days. But, no hospital is giving me a bed.
'People running this hospital also refused to take me in. I am dying. Wherewould poor people go?' the woman told media persons.
Some people even claimed they were standing in the queue since 5 am in a hope to get the token.
'I came all the way from Vapi (around 350km from Ahmedabad) to get a bed for my mother. The government said this hospital has 900 beds. But, no one is ready to give me one bed,' said a distressed man.
'People sitting on the helpdesk are not replying to our questions. We are also not allowed to go in to check how many beds are actually occupied.
'Though several critical patients are waiting outside the gate, the hospital says no one will be taken in without a token,' said an Ahmedabad resident.
In its defence, the government said 380 patients have already been given admission and the token system has eliminated long queues of private vehicles outside the facility and reduced the hardships faced by people.
To serve the patients well, as many as 104 doctors and 300 housekeeping staff and wardboys have been appointed for the hospital, said a government release.
The release said 125 patients were admitted through the token system on the first day on Thursday.
Critical patients were admitted without going through the token system, it added. PTI PJT RSY RSY