The shortfall in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bengaluru was exposed once again on Tuesday morning as another resident in the city died in want of medical attention.
The 55-year-old man suffered an undignified death as he was accompanied by volunteers of Mercy Mission, a voluntary organisation which supports the government in COVID-19 management.
After crisscrossing the city for nine hours, the man eventually died outside a private hospital in Bommanahalli. He is yet to be tested for the novel coronavirus.
Nabeela Shah of Mercy Mission said she got a distress call from the family of the man residing in DJ Halli. The man was provided an oxygen cylinder by the organisation after he complained of breathlessness.
“After I reached the man’s residence, me and others helping the man had to wait for 45 minutes to reach a person on the phone line and we could finally get an ambulance only after two hours,” she said.
Frustrated with no ambulance showing up, the man’s son had already taken him in his car and tried to admit him in private hospitals near Shivajinagar. But all the hospitals they approached told them that they did not have the system to take care of the man as he was already in a critical condition.
“After his son returned without any success, we were assured that a private hospital in Kengeri would have a bed. But sadly, when we reached, we were told that it was full. Despite our requests, they did not let us admit him in the emergency room,” Nabeela recounted.
“We again got a lead that there might be a bed in Bommanahalli. By the time we reached the hospital, the oxygen cylinder had almost run out. Rather than allowing us inside, they did not allow him admission nor did they give us oxygen support. He died at around 4:30 am without any proper medical care,” she added.
However, this is not the first time that patients had to spend their dying moments in an ambulance in Bengaluru or were forced to spend hours before being allotted adequate medical facilities.