Death due to lack of food, medicine; Delhi Minority Commission writes to Kejriwal

The Delhi Minorities Commission has raised the issue of the deaths of two Tablighi Jamaat members at a COVID-19 quarantine centre in Sultanpuri in North West Delhi.

The commission has alleged that they both died as they were diabetic and were not provided food, medicines and necessary treatment on time.

DMC has urged Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to probe the incident.

“Improper conditions at the quarantine centres were responsible for the death of the two men. It was due to the callous and uncooperative nature of officers and doctors manning and supervising these camps and erratic supply of food at these facilities that the two diabetic patients died,” in a joint letter to Baijal and Kejriwal, Commission chairman Zafarul-Islam Khan and member Kartar Singh Kochhar wrote.

60-year-old Mohammed Mustafa died recently on April 22 and another quarantined Tablighi member Haji Rizwan died around 10 days ago. They both hailed from Tamil Nadu.

Mustafa’s death triggered protests by the occupants of the facility on Wednesday.

“He did not receive medical attention and food on time despite several requests to the doctors and the staff,” a patient who is quarantined in the same facility said.

“He died due to the non-availability of diabetic medicines for more than three weeks. We repeatedly demanded to government officials regarding this and unfortunately, there was no one to take action,” Fathima Muzaffer, member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board told Maktoob.

“Breakfast is served at 11 a.m. and dinner at 10-11 pm. The food is hardly edible. As a result people are having stomach problems and some are vomiting. Medical facilities and medicines are not provided while some of the inmates are diabetic and heart patients. Doctors rarely visit the patients,” commission said it has received complaints of bad treatment from those quarantines at these centres.

Following Mustafa’s death, several patients at the centre from South Indian states came out of their rooms to protest the death and uploaded videos on social media complaining about a lack of doctors and adequate treatment.

The Commission demanded that medical care, medicines and timely supply of food must be ensured in all these camps and a senior officer, like the area Sub Divisional Magistrate, should be made personally accountable for any lapse.

They also requested to the authorities that the timing of supply of food to them must also change and meticulously followed to suit fasting timing.

“Inmates are not given necessary and life-saving medicines – as a result of which two diabetic patients have already died in the quarantine camp at Sultanpuri,” Zafarul Islam khan and Kartar Singh Kochhar raised their concerns.

“It is very unfortunate that this was allowed to happen due to the carelessness of the medical and administrative staff while these persons were in government care and therefore government was responsible for their safekeeping and welfare during their detention,” statement reads.

“Many of these people have completed 25 days in quarantine, which was much more than the required 14 days. A vast majority of them had also tested negative. But, it charged that these people have been kept in these centres with some of those who tested positive,” DMC alleged.

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