COVID-19 patients lying naked on hospital floor in Odisha, probe ordered

Video clips and photographs were apparently shot by an attendant of a patient

Updated - June 01, 2021 02:57 pm IST

Published - June 01, 2021 02:52 pm IST

Photo for representational purpose.

Photo for representational purpose.

After disturbing photographs of patients, including a woman, lying naked on the floor of a washroom and bed in a COVID-19 hospital in the tribal dominated Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district went viral, a high-level probe has been ordered.

Video clips and the photographs were apparently shot by an attendant of a patient at the dedicated COVID-19 hospital set up at Bankisole near the district headquarter town of Baripada.

The Mayurbhanj administration had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) last year. After a brief closure, following the first wave of pandemic, the hospital started functioning again when COVID-18 cases rose.

“I had taken my father to the hospital on May 19 and I stayed there to look after him. I found people losing lives lying in the washroom. People were unable to have food and could not go the washroom. They were losing lives without proper care. Hospital staff were coming only occasionally to the ward. Four people lost their lives between May 19 and 29,” said, Ajit Sahu, a resident of Baripada who had shot the video.

Mr. Sahu, whose father passed away recently, said, “draped in PPE kit, doctors were coming to see patients twice a day, but there were not enough staff to give care to everyone.”

A delegation of citizens concerned under the banner of ‘Ame Mayurbhanjia’ met Mayurbhanj Collector Vineet Bhardwaj and apprised him of the situation. “We got to know that the condition of patients was extremely distressing in the hospital. They were lying naked everywhere. Some were found sleeping over food. There was no one to give care to them,” alleged Bibek Patnaik of Ame Mayurbhanjia.

Collector’s statement

Mr. Bharadwaj inspected the hospital premises and issued a press statement, which says all the patients were mostly satisfied with the treatment in the hospital.

“The recent allegation made in the social media of neglect of a patient by doctors and nurses was inquired into and found to be false and baseless. The patient had a neurological problem and was going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms,” it said.

While the district administration talked about one patient, as per video clips and photographs, there were many patients, including a woman, lying naked in the hospital.

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