Police absolve medical college of negligence in patient’s death

The Kalamassery police have absolved the staff of the Government Medical College, Kalamassery, of any negligence in connection with the death of a COVID-19 patient back in July.

The family of C.K. Haris, a 51-year-old resident of Fort Kochi, who died in the hospital on July 20, after being admitted on June 26 on testing positive for COVID-19, had petitioned the Kalamassery police alleging negligence by the hospital. He had returned from Kuwait on June 19.

The police on Thursday handed over a one-page summary of the investigation report signed by Kalamassery Station House Officer to Anwar Haneef, brother-in-law of the deceased, stating that the probe had not revealed any negligence or wrongdoing by the hospital staff or authorities that warranted legal action.

“Even the date of death has been wrongly shown as July 24, which points to the laxity of the police while also raising suspicions whether they have inquired about the death of someone else. We have asked for a copy of the full report and will go ahead with our legal battle till we get justice,” said Mr. Haneef.

The family had lodged a police petition only on October 19 after a leaked audio clip suspected to be that of the nursing superintendent of the Medical College had gone viral in the social media in which the speaker could be heard alluding at medical negligence leading to the death of a COVID-19 patient.

Mr. Haneef reiterated the family’s contention that the death was mysterious and hence, should be investigated and the guilty should be brought to book. He claimed that hospital authorities had informed them of the plan to move the patient to the ward in another two days and that Haris had spoken to his wife and him hardly two hours before he was reported dead.

“We had given a complaint to the Medical College Hospital Superintendent on the day of the death, citing our suspicion and that currencies, both Indian rupee and Kuwait Dinar, were missing from the purse of Haris that was returned to us. We had revealed our intention to share the petition with the Chief Minister, Health Minister and the Health Department Secretary but was asked to wait for the hospital authorities to do whatever they could,” said Mr. Haneef.

The family had also complained about the hospital of not returning a compact and costly breathing assistance machine that they had bought for the patient. However, a cheque for ₹70,000 was issued towards that later, Mr. Haneef said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 8:16:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/police-absolve-medical-college-of-negligence-in-patients-death/article33188392.ece

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