Hyderabad: “Please shift me to a private hospital. In spite of several requests and reminders, nobody is taking care of me in the ICU.” These are the last words of Manoj, the 32-year-old journalist who lost his life fighting Covid-19 in Gandhi Hospital on Sunday.
“ICU is not good. Please, we will go to a private hospital. Evaru pattinchukuntaleru ikkada (nobody is taking care here). Please vellipodham ikkada nundi (Please let me leave this place)”, Manoj went on to say in the last message to his friend from Gandhi Hospital.
A resident of Madannapet, the journalist tested positive for coronavirus on June 4 while his brother was already undergoing treatment in Gandhi Hospital. The two days of conversations he had with his friends through his mobile have exposed the lacunae in Gandhi Hospital.
According to Manoj’s friend, the 33-year-old rushed immediately to Gandhi Hospital for admission on June 4 on knowing that he had got coronavirus. To his surprise, the staff said they cannot admit him due to unavailability of beds. They asked him to wait for half an hour. “Petrified by the reaction of hospital staff, Manoj immediately called me and asked me to speak to higher authorities, so that his admission process would be expedited,” Manoj’s friend recounted.
During the entire conversation, Manoj’s voice was shivering over phone due to panic. After two hours of heated conversations with the hospital staff, they finally allotted him a bed. Staff nurses in the hospital then dropped him near a bed. None of the doctors attended on him for more than half an hour. This approach further terrified him.
During his fatal four-day stay in the hospital, the journalist kept messaging to his friends, explaining about the poor treatment. He even got in touch with his media friends on the health beat, asking them to get in touch with health minister Etela Rajender for better treatment. Responding to requests by his media friends, the health minister telephoned Dr. M. Raja Rao, superintendent of Gandhi Hospital, asking him to provide better treatment for Manoj.
Even the minister’s instructions fell on deaf ears. The staff neither provided him immunity boosting food nor enhanced treatment, despite keeping him in the ICU. After fighting for four days, the young journalist finally succumbed to coronavirus.