Tejashwi asks Nitish to speak out on Covid-19 video
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Wednesday night tweeted a video purportedly shot inside Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), the only dedicated Covid-19 hospital, showing dead bodies lying on beds and patients complaining about doctors and nurses not attending them.
“See the alarming situation of Bihar. Dead bodies are lying in corona ward for two days. Better patients are on beds next to them. There is no doctor, nurse, or health worker, and attendants are taking care of the patients…,” Tejashwi wrote on Twitter while posting the video.
Tejashwi, who is also the leader of the Opposition, challenged chief minister Nitish Kumar to inform about the steps taken to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The video, which has not been independently verified by The Telegraph, has been shot by a youth, who shows two dead bodies lying on beds inside the ward where his father is admitted after becoming infected with the virus. He claims that the bodies have been there for the last two days.
“My father is admitted here (shows him in the video) and I cannot leave him. He is okay and I am sure he will come out all right. But the situation here is so bad that anybody can become afraid and lose his capabilities. Doctors do not come here. If a patent’s oxygen level goes down and you inform, nobody comes,” the youth is heard saying in the video.
He then goes to another coronavirus patient who complains that no doctor, nurse or sweeper comes to the ward.
Asked about the video that has been shared widely on social media, Bihar health minister and senior BJP leader Mangal Pandey termed it a “misleading one”.
“I have asked the NMCH superintendent very clearly about it. He said that the video is completely misleading,” Mangal told reporters before describing the protocol related to disposal of bodies of patients who die of Covid-19.
He also said the hospital was following all rules and regulations pertaining to the pandemic.
NMCH superintendent Nirmal Kumar Sinha told The Telegraph that the two deceased shown in the video had succumbed to the disease during the early hours of Wednesday.
“One had died around 1am and the other on Wednesday morning. We had a total of eight deaths, but we have only one dedicated team for disposal of Covid-19 bodies. So disposal of bodies can only be done one by one. The entire process of sanitising the body, sealing it in bags, sanitising them again and dispatching them for last rites to places as per the wish of the family members take time,” Nirmal said.
Refuting the other allegations made in the video, the superintendent pointed out that many doctors, nurses and health workers had tested positive while working at the hospital.
At present, NMCH has 221 Covid-19 patients, he said.
However, a senior doctor at the hospital, who did not wish to be identified, said such a situation was the result of “very poor health infrastructure in general and faulty planning to deal with the pandemic in particular. The state government or the health department should have had a blueprint of what to do if the number of cases or deaths rise”.
“It is inhuman, irresponsible and unethical to leave dead bodies rotting on beds in the wards amid patients. It is against medical and psychological principles. It breaks the spirit of the patients. A place could have been designated where bodies could have quickly transferred for further preparations for transportation and funeral,” the doctor added.