Sunday, December 3, 2023

Body of coronavirus patient found at a bus stop in Gujarat

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Sahal Qureshi

A heart-wrenching incident has emerged from Ahmadabad in Gujarat.

67-year-old Gunvant Makwana had some trouble breathing on 10 May, when he suddenly started to feel unwell. His family members immediately called the ambulance by calling 108, and he was taken to the hospital with his son.

At the hospital, Gunvant was tested, and he was found to be corona positive. The doctor’s kept Gunvant’s son waiting for three days in front of the ward where Gunvant was being treated. After returning home on the 15 May, Gunvant ‘s son was told that his father had been infected with the coronavirus, and he would be kept admitted at the hospital itself.

However, on 15 May, Gunvant’s son heard his phone ring. The Police were on the call and asked him to come to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital and collect the dead body of his father. Police told him that his father’s corpse was found at Danilimad Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) station and the pocket had this phone number. This phone call by the police shocked Gunvant’s household to the core, and his son and son-in-law rushed to the police station, to find Gunvant’s body just lying there, lifeless. The hospital administration asked the family members to buy plastic sheet to wrap the dead body in. After the family members bought the plastic for ₹1500, the body was packed. As they were leaving, the hospital administration claimed that they needed to pay ₹250 more, for the cost of cleaning the dead body with sanitizer.

It is important to note that the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital is the same hospital that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and claimed that it would turn out to be the country’s best hospital.

Nevertheless, the family members of Gunvant are asking that when they admitted Gunvant into a civil hospital then how come his dead body was found unmarked near BRTS Station. When the family members tried to lodge a complaint in this regard with the police, they were told that Gunvant was cleared to leave the hospital after the permission of his family members.

It is worth thinking that how can somebody let a coronavirus patient leave so casually? How was Gunvant given the clearance to leave the hospital?

Gunvant’s death remains the center of an enquiry. But it does leave a lot of questions for PM Modi’s Gujarat Model.

Sahal Qureshi is a journalist based in Ahmedabad

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