Delhi COVID crisis: Apollo hospital staff attacked after woman dies waiting for bed; HC comes to aid of another patient

A purported video clip of the incident showed the hospital security staff and some people engaged in a pitch battle, hitting each other with sticks, near the hospital's entry gate.

Published: 27th April 2021 10:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2021 11:16 PM   |  A+A-

People wait to refill their medical oxygen cylinders for patients at an oxygen refilling station in New Delhi on Sunday. The national capital is facing shortage of oxygen cylinders ever since the numbers spiked. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

People wait to refill their medical oxygen cylinders for patients at an oxygen refilling station in New Delhi on Sunday. The national capital is facing shortage of oxygen cylinders ever since the numb


NEW DELHI: Family members of a woman, who allegedly died due to COVID-19 waiting for a bed at South Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo Hospital on Tuesday, attacked its staff, resulting in minor injuries to four employees, officials said.

This is the first such incident of a COVID patient's family attacking the staff of a healthcare facility in Delhi this year, according to police.

However, they said, no complaint has been filed in this regard so far.

Pictures circulating on social media showed blood on the floor, broken partitions and furniture strewn around inside the hospital.

A purported video clip of the incident showed the hospital security staff and some people engaged in a pitch battle, hitting each other with sticks, near the hospital's entry gate.

Dr Karan Thakur, Vice President (Operations), said the incident led to the shutting down of the hospital's emergency department and COVID triage area for two hours.

"The hospital received a woman in a critical condition at the emergency in the early hours of Tuesday. Immediate medical attention appropriate to her condition was given by a team," the hospital's spokesperson said in a statement.

"Given the paucity of beds, the family was advised to shift the patient to another facility.

Unfortunately, the patient died around 8 am, following which her family members resorted to vandalism, destruction of hospital property and assault on our doctors and staff," it said.

While the hospital deeply condoles the death of the patient, it is deeply shocked at the behaviour of the patient's family against doctors and healthcare workers who are providing untiring services amidst the pandemic, the spokesperson said in the statement.

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A doctor and three security personnel have received minor injuries.

Some equipment and a partition in the area has been damaged.

The hospital has not filed any complaint, Dr Thakur said.

"We understand the family is going through a lot. They have lost someone. We understand how they are feeling. We didn't want to file a complaint. Our only appeal is that please appreciate we are doing the best. We need everyone's support," he said.

He said some family members broke the glass at the main entrance.

"They had cuts on their hand."

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday came to the aid of a woman, showing symptoms of COVID-19 and finding it difficult to get an ICU bed in government hospitals here by directing the AAP government to arrange a bed for her.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said since the woman has approached the high court for a bed, "I cannot turn her away" and directed the Delhi government, Centre and All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to find out where they can provide a bed for her.

Delhi government additional standing counsel Gautam Narayan, thereafter, told the court that a bed with oxygen facilities was available at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital.

However, no ICU beds were available in any Delhi government hospital, he said.

The court directed that the woman be admitted at LNJP hospital and listed the matter on Wednesday, April 28, for reporting compliance of its order.

Initially Delhi government said that all the beds in its hospitals were full and that beds were available in some central government-run hospitals like AIIMS.

In view of the submission, Justice Singh asked someone to be present on behalf of AIIMS and the Centre.

When the counsels for AIIMS and the Centre appeared, the court asked them to also find out if a bed can be provided to the woman.

The woman had sought a bed in a government hospital or in a private hospital at the government's expense.

She moved the high court as she could not get a bed after approaching several government hospitals.

Delhi will have additional 1,200 ICU beds by May 10, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday, terming the current wave of COVID-19 as dangerous and contagious.

He said that a 500 ICU bed-facility will come up at Ramlila Maidan -- one of the biggest grounds in the national capital -- while another facility having similar capacity will be set up near city's GTB Hospital.

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Earlier in the day, the chief minister visited both the sites to take stock of preparations with Health Minister Satyendar Jain and senior officers.

He said 200 ICU beds are also being readied at Radha Soami Satsang Beas in Delhi's Chhatarpur area.

"It has been noticed that the current wave is particularly dangerous. It is supremely contagious and those who are contracting it are not able to recover as swiftly as was noticed in the previous wave," Kejriwal said in an online media briefing.

In these conditions, ICU wards are in great demand, he said, adding that despite best efforts, it is becoming difficult to create more ICU beds in the national capital.

All hospitals at this point are running over and above their real capacity, beds are full, including ICU beds, the CM added.

On Monday, Delhi recorded the highest single-day rise in its COVID-19 death toll with 380 more people succumbing to the infection, while the positivity rate stood at over 35 per cent This was the fifth day on the trot that Delhi has recorded over 300 deaths due to coronavirus.

The city reported 350 fatalities on Sunday, 357 deaths, the highest before Monday's figure since the pandemic began a year ago, on Saturday, 348 on Friday and 306 on Thursday.

Addressing the online media briefing on Tuesday, Kerjriwal said that these 1,200 ICU beds will be ready by May 10.

"I believe they will relieve the load from the hospitals and aid the people of Delhi. We are continuously working towards increasing the health capacities of the state and ensuring help reaches the person who needs it," he said.

The chief minister said the AAP government was working hand in hand with everyone -- the central government, state governments, industrialists, social and religious organisations and others "I believe that by working together, we will be able to defeat this second wave as well," he said.

During the briefing, he said that his government will import 18 cryogenic tankers from Thailand and 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France.

He said the situation has improved significantly in the past two days after the chaos witnessed last week due to oxygen shortage.

Due to a shortage of tankers, the Delhi government was also facing problems in transporting its oxygen quota decided by the Centre, the chief minister added.


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  • Rr

    If hospital is not at fault
    8 months ago reply
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