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6 COVID-19 positive Bhopal gas tragedy survivors die due to alleged hospital negligence

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Bhopal, Sep 10: Organisations working with the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster have alleged Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre is guilty of criminal negligence and mismanagement as 6 gas victims suffering from COVID-19 have died in the hospital's isolation ward in the last 15 days.

6 COVID-19 positive Bhopal gas tragedy survivors die due to alleged hospital negligence

In a letter to the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, the survivors' group shared details of six Bhopal gas tragedy victims and alleged, there was no full-time doctor posted and no treatment for Covid-19 being administered to these patients.

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They said in a statement, while the gas disaster victims (Covid positive and suspect) are left to die in the isolation ward of BMHRC, what is even more awful is that the survivors, who needed ICU facilities, pulmonary, neurology, gastro-surgery and neurosurgery, etc, were being refused admission in the hospital.

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    "Our letter which had categorically stated that unless urgent steps are taken by ICMR, too many Bhopalis will suffer from COVID-19 and die from it, fell on deaf ears. We painfully collect information of every city's COVID-19 death and more than 60 per cent of city's COVID-19 deaths are of Bhopal gas victims whereas they only constitute 25 per cent of the city's population," said Nawab Khan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha.

    "While gas victims including COVID-19 positive one are left to die in isolation ward of BMHRC, what is even more diabolical is that those who need ICU facilities or pulmonary, neurology, gastro and neuro surgeries are being refused admission in the hospital," the survivors' group alleged.

    The city is facing shortage of oxygen and ICU facilities for COVID-19 patients.

    "Keeping the vulnerability of gas victims in view, BMHRC should have prepared for this crisis. We are hopeful that the monitoring committee will direct BMHRC to start a 40 ICU and HDU (high-dependency unit) bed unit to cater to gas victims suffering from COVID-19 at the earliest," said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

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