Journalist dies at COVID-19 facility in Pune; inquiry ordered

As his relatives alleged that he could not be shifted to a private hospital due to the lack of a cardiac ambulance, govt has ordered to probe the issue.

Published: 03rd September 2020 12:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2020 12:51 AM   |  A+A-

Covid death, Kerala

Image used for representation only. (Photo | Shaji Vettipuram, EPS)


PUNE: A 42-year-old reporter of a Marathi news channel died of COVID-19 on Wednesday at a newly-created jumbo care facility at COEP here.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said in the evening that Dean of the Sassoon General Hospital has been asked to conduct an inquiry.

As his relatives alleged that he could not be shifted to a private hospital due to the lack of a cardiac ambulance, District collector Rajesh Deshmukh said that deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had given instructions to probe this issue.

"The journalist was brought here from Ahmednagar district in an oxygen-equipped ambulance and was admitted to the jumbo facility here," he said.

"My brother died just because he could not get an ambulance in time," the deceased's sister said, while alleging gross mismanagement at the 800-bed facility, saying it was managed by trainee doctors.

One of the colleagues of the deceased reporter told PTI that his condition started deteriorating on Tuesday night, a day after he was admitted at the facility.

"He was to be shifted to a private hospital, as his condition started deteriorating. We somehow managed to get an ICU bed for him. However, we could not get a cardiac ambulance in time," he said.

The ambulance was supposed to arrive early Wednesday at the facility, but it was too late as he succumbed by 5.30 am, he claimed.

State BJP president Chandrakant Patil blamed "insensitive and lackadaisical" approach of the administration for the incident.

"It is the state government which has been instrumental in setting up jumbo facilities, so responsibility lies with the government and local administration," he said.

The Kothrud MLA claimed that 8 to 9 deaths have taken place at this particular jumbo centre.

BJP MLA Siddharth Shirole said the jumbo facility lacked necessary medical facilities.

Meanwhile, the PMC said that Dean of Sassoon General Hospital, Dr Murlidhar Tambe, has been requested to conduct an inquiry into the death.

Tambe has been asked to find out if there was any deficiency in the treatment protocol, it added.

The civic body admitted that the patient was to be shifted to Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, however, considering his condition, it was not advisable to transport him in an ordinary ambulance.

Hours before his death, he had put out a brief message on a messaging group of journalists around 1.30 am in which he wrote, "Feeling bad, please take me".


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