Covid victim’s wife alleges sexual harassment, negligence at Bihar hospitals

In the wake of the allegations, the Bhagalpur police has launched a probe into the incident and constituted a three-member team to carry out investigation.

In a video that has gone viral and triggered angry reactions on social media, a woman from Bhagalpur in Bihar has alleged that she was sexually harassed by the staff of a hospital in Bhagalpur while trying to get treatment for her Covid-infected husband and mother.

The woman, whose husband succumbed to the virus, also alleged negligence on part of the hospital authorities in Patna and Bhagalpur in providing proper treatment. She has also flagged black-marketing of oxygen cylinders in hospitals.

Sharing her ordeal, the woman said she and her entire family, living in Noida, had come to Bhagalpur to celebrate Holi, and decided to stay back as the Coronavirus cases began rising.

Early April, the woman said, her husband fell ill and was tested for Covid-19, but his results came back negative. However, a chest CT showed infection in his lungs, following which he was rushed to a private hospital at Bhagalpur. The woman’s mother was also admitted to the hospital with Covid.

At the Bhagalpur hospital, the woman claimed she was molested by an attendant. Speaking to reporters, she said “I had requested the attendant to allow me to stay with my husband at the hospital, and he promised he would do so. And, while I was talking to my husband, the attendant snatched my dupatta and put his hand on my waist. I kept mum as both my husband and my mother were admitted there.”

As her husband’s condition worsened, he was referred to another hospital in Mayaganj area of Bhagalpur, where too, the required treatment was not given, she alleged. Then the man was shifted to a private hospital in Patna, where again, she alleged utter negligence by the authorities. She said that her husband was not provided proper oxygen and care and 15 days later, he died.

She alleged that at Patna hospital, her husband was not provided drinking water as well as the soiled bed sheets were not changed by the staff. She added that the hospital authorities also forced the relatives of the patients to purchase oxygen cylinders in black as they were deliberately short-supplying oxygen to sell cylinders in black.

In the wake of the allegations, the Bhagalpur police has launched a probe into the incident and constituted a three-member team to carry out investigation, The Hindu reported.

India recorded 3,29,942 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Tuesday. The country’s total infections stand at over 2.29 crore. Out of these, over 37.15 lakh cases are active while 1.90 crore people have recovered after testing positive. Active cases have declined for the first time in 2 months. With 3,876 new deaths, the toll is now at over 2.49 lakh.

According to the health ministry, 13 states — Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh cumulatively account for 82.68 per cent of India’s total active cases.

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