MUMBAI: A 22-year-old doctor who was suffering from high fever knocked the doors of at least five private hospitals but was refused admission for being a coronavirus suspect.
The doctor was eventually brought to Sir JJ Hospital in Mumbai, 400 kilometres from his hometown Bhusawal in Jalgaon district. He is in a serious condition and has been kept on ventilation.
The doctor was studying in Kolhapur and after staying for some days in Pune, he came to Bhusawal. He had a fever and wanted to see a doctor but the private hospitals refused to treat him.
"We were shocked to see how doctors treated a member of their own fraternity. They should have given him at least primary treatment. After knocking the door of private hospitals, at the end of the day, we went to a government hospital as well. But there also the doctor told us they do not have facilities to treat coronavirus patients. They declared him corona positive without taking his blood samples," said social activist Pratibha Shinde.
Shinde said that they were very disappointed after seeing the response from the private hospitals. "We called the collector of Jalgaon district and he tried to help but since we could not afford to wait, we had no option but to take him to Mumbai. The government machinery was non-cooperative and we have to bear the ambulance bill as well," she said.
So far India has recorded more than 200 cases of COVID-19 with Maharashtra having the most at 52.
Tukaram Dhande, the maternal uncle of the doctor, said he is not yet responding but the family is hopeful that he will recover. "The fear of COVID-19 is taking a toll on people. The government should extend all coronavirus testing and treating facilities to private hospitals also. There is a lot of confusion among the doctors itself. That is why we faced a lot of problems in getting him admitted to private hospitals," he said.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that they had asked the Centre to extend COVID-19 testing facilities to places like Dhule and Mirja but they have not responded yet.
Dr TP Lahane, director of DMER and former dean of Sir JJ Hospital, said, "We are putting in all efforts to save his life. This is a dog bite case and seems to be at the last stage but we are trying very hard."