NEW DELHI: A woman has alleged that her COVID-19-positive father was not admitted in time by a Delhi government hospital and he died on Thursday, a charge denied by the authorities of the facility.
The woman, Amarpreet Kaur, took to Twitter earlier in the day, saying, "My dad is having high fever. We need to shift him to hospital. I am standing outside LNJP Delhi & they are not taking him in. He is having corona, high fever and breathing problem. He won't survive without help. Pls help."
An hour later, she again tweeted, saying, "He is no more. The govt failed us."
Her tweets were widely circulated by netizens.
Amarpreet is a social activist, her family said.
The authorities at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 facility, denied the charge, saying the patient was "brought dead".
According to information shared by the hospital, the 68-year-old man, who also had asthma, died at 7:37 am.
"According to a report from the emergency department, the man was tested for COVID-19 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) and the report came on June 1, in which he was found positive for coronavirus infection," a senior official said.
He was sent to home quarantine from there, the authorities said.
On Thursday, he was brought to the casualty department of the hospital in an "unconscious state" and with a flat ECG line, and declared "brought dead".
Amarpreet lives in Gurgaon with her husband Mandeep Singh, who said the family members rushed to the hospital after getting to know about his father-in-law's condition.
"My father-in-law was taken in a car by my wife's brother and a cousin, accompanied by my mother-in-law," Singh said, and alleged that the LNJP Hospital staff "were not willing to see my father-in-law, even as he fainted in the car".
"They are saying he was brought dead, but was he even attended to? The staff kept saying go to Ganga Ram Hospital. We were just at a loss," he alleged, the charge again denied by the LNJP Hospital authorities.
Singh also alleged that the family "never received any call" from the SGRH on the positive COVID-19 status of his father-in-law.
A spokesperson of the SGRH denied the charge, saying, "There is no truth in these allegations. However, we sympathise with the family for their loss."
Singh also claimed that the family had approached three-four other private and government hospitals a few days ago, but "could not get admission" for the deceased in any of those facilities, adding that they found out that beds were available at the LNJP Hospital, so he was taken there.
Later, in a statement, the LNJP Hospital rejected the claims of the family as "incorrect and false", saying the old man was brought to the hospital between 7:10 am and 7:30 am, was "not refused admission and examined by a doctor".
It also claimed that the first tweet was put up by Amarpreet at 8:05 am and subsequently, she sent out another tweet, saying her father died at 9:08 am, but he died at 7:37 am.
Singh responded to it and claimed that the tweets were "put out from his wife's account by a friend of hers", as she was scrambling to get her father medical attention and hence, there could have been a delay.
Asked if the man's family was made to wait at the hospital, a source said, the LNJP Hospital, being a dedicated facility, sees a "lot of rush" of patients.
"Also, there are four doctors in the casualty department, who can attend to only four patients at a time following all social-distancing and other safety guidelines.
But the triage team looks out for any person in the queue, who needs immediate medical attention," the source said.
The woman later tweeted seeking COVID-19 tests for all family members.
"I lost my father today morning to COVID we want other family members to get tested today only. which labs are not doing they are in danger. We are trying since morning. My mother, brother, his wife and two kids. Pls help (sic)," she said.
On June 2, the woman had also tweeted: "My father is corona positive and in Delhi, no helpline is responding @ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @dilipkpandey. Immediate support is needed."
"I am extremely thankful to @dilipkpandey and others for immediate attention and support. We are proceeding on next steps as advised by doctors!" she had tweeted.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Pandey had helped to get a doctor on a telephone call with the family, Singh said.
Delhi recorded 1,359 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, which took the COVID-19 tally in the city past the 25,000-mark, and the death toll due to the disease mounted to 650, authorities said.