In a tragic incident, the body of a 67-year-old COVID-19 patient, Gunvant Makwana, a resident of Danilimda area in Ahmedabad, was found at a bus stand after he was discharged from the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital a few days after his treatment in the isolation ward.
The incident has caused outrage in the city about the apparent mismanagement by the State health authorities, prompting Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to order a probe into the matter by a senior IAS officer.
“Chief Minister Vijay Rupani asked former health secretary J.P. Gupta to probe the death of a discharged patient and submit the report in 24 hours,” read a statement issued by the CMO.
According to Dr M.M. Prabhakar, OSD at the Civil Hospital, the patient was admitted to the isolation ward on May 10. He tested positive but was discharged and advised home quarantine after he did not develop any symptoms.
“He was discharged on May 14 since he had mild symptoms and as per the new guidelines, such patients are discharged and asked to home quarantine,” said Mr. Prabhakar.
His body was found in the early hours of May 15 at the Danilimda BRTS stand. The police took the body to V.S. Hospital. where the post mortem was conducted on it.
Subsequently, the police informed his son Kirti Makwana to come and collect the body from VS hospital.
“We did not know what happened at the Civil Hospital and since it was an isolation ward, we were not allowed entry there,” his son told reporters.
Reportedly, the authorities at the municipal-run SPV hospital did not cover the body and asked his family members to buy plastic cover of ₹1,500.
“We even paid ₹200 to the ward body to spray disinfectant on his dead body so that we could cremate it,” the deceased’s son Kirti said.
However, there is still no clarity about why he was not dropped at his residence by the transport wing of the hospital when he was discharged.
Gujarat’s recovery rate shot up after the new guidelines came in, requiring no retesting of the COVID-19 patients having no symptoms or mild symptoms. Almost 1,000 patients have been discharged after the new guidelines were enforced in the state.