ROURKELA: The death of a 32-year-old COVID-19 positive woman on Sunday morning has left her family shaken. Her grief-stricken brother claims that she died after they failed to get ventilator support and prescribed drugs for her.
The patient with breathing complications was admitted to Ispat General Hospital (IGH) on April 8 and a chest X-Ray showed her having pneumonia. The next day she tested positive for COVID-19.
Even as her condition started deteriorating and she needed ventilator support, her brother Ramiz Raja alleged she was kept in the general ward with only oxygen support.
"Ventilators at IGH and in hospitals with COVID treatment facilities in Rourkela are fully occupied. Being young, my sister could have survived with critical care support, but that was not available," Ramiz rued.
After he found that all three ventilators at IGH authorities were occupied, he approached the Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) and two other private hospitals,
but there too all the beds were equipped and ventilators were exhausted.
The family's woes did not end here as the medicines prescribed by the treating doctor were not available anywhere in Rourkela. "We searched every store for Fabiflu tablets and Remdesivir injection in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. But the drugs were neither available at the government hospital nor at the medicine stores," he claimed.
Describing the city’s COVID-19 management as pathetic Ramiz, said it is painful to see people dying without treatment. He appealed to the Sundargarh district administration to ensure no one dies without treatment.
"Last year, the preparedness was much better with adequate ventilator beds and other facilities, but this year the administration was caught napping despite Sundargarh emerging as the worst-hit district with a daily caseload of over 300," he added.
Locals have urged the administration to urgently augment critical treatment facilities for COVID-19 patients in the wake of the rapid rise in new infections.
Sundargarh Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan said, "We have sufficient supply of medicines and ventilators at our COVID-19 hospitals. I cannot comment on IGH. The COVID-19 audit committee will inquiry to ascertain whether the death of the woman was due to COVID or not.”
When he was intimated that the victim’s family also tried for admission at government-run COVID-19 hospitals and required drugs, the Collector parried it reiterating that there were sufficient supplies.
Meanwhile, Sundargarh on Sunday reported 317 new COVID-19 cases pushing the active cases to cross 1,500. The district has around 180 hospital beds for critical and mild patients.