Covid-positive Pregnant Woman Turned Away from Hospital in Kashmir, Delivers Baby Out in the Open

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A coronavirus-infected pregnant woman was turned away from a hospital in Kashmir forcing her to deliver a baby in the open and triggering protests in the area.

Locals said the woman from remote Vewan village was supposed to get admitted at the Bandipore district hospital for delivery. After she developed severe labour pain, she went to the hospital where her family members were told to get some mandatory tests, including COVID-19, done on her. When she tested positive for the virus, doctors at the hospital refused to treat her and referred her to a dedicated COVID-19 facility in the Hajin area, about 25km from Bandipora.

By this time, the woman developed intense pain and she delivered near the gate of the hospital. The family alleged no doctor came out to see her even at this point despite repeated pleas.

“A few passersbys offered blankets to cover her but the hospital staff did not bother to check on her,” said a family member, adding some women helped her to deliver.

Soon after, the family members and locals staged a protest against the insensitive attitude of the healthcare professionals.

The hospital authorities have initiated an inquiry into the incident and have directed withholding of salary of the accused doctors. A show cause notice has also been served on them and the doctors have been why were they unable to help deliver the baby by adhering to safety measures.

“This certainly is an inhuman and insensitive act and would be investigated. We have taken cognisance and an inquiry team has been set up. Strict action would be taken if it is indeed found the doctors had referred her to a Covid-dedicated hospital despite noticing the patient’s condition,” a senior health official told News18.

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