Amid the fear and devastation caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak in India, a heart-breaking story has emerged from Mumbai, where a young man has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to “please save my family”, after his three-day-old child and wife both tested positive for COVID-19.
Last week the man a resident of Mumbai’s Chembur suburb, admitted his pregnant wife to a local hospital, where she gave birth to a healthy baby. The mother and baby were initially in a private room.
Shortly afterwards, a second patient was admitted to the same room. The father has now alleged the hospital did not reveal that the patient was COVID-19 positive.
“My wife and three-day-old child have tested positive. A COVID-19 patient was kept in the same room as my family. The hospital did not tell us that the patient was COVID positive,” the distressed and emotional young father said in a self-shot video that has emerged online.
He said doctors ordered him to vacate the room because of a BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) order, despite the fact his wife had just given birth and was in no condition to move.
Eventually the family was forced to move and tragedy struck just hours later.
“A doctor called me to say a coronavirus patient had been in our room. He said medical staff could not attend to my wife or child because we may have been infected,” he said fighting back tears.
The young father spent several days trying to persuade doctors to attend to his new family, refusing to get a discharge until their samples were tested.
“I spent Rs 13,500 from my pocket to test my wife, my child and myself. I told the doctors we could not leave till the results came back. They forced me to leave, saying the hospital was closing. They took more money from me to settle the bill and threw us out,” he said.
The family is now in the city’s Kasturba Hospital, where they were being treated well, the father said.
“Now I just want my child to get good treatment and I am begging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to please look after my child,” he said in the video, breaking down as he repeated his plea.
He also hit out at the medical staff whose negligence has endangered the life of his wife and child, saying: “What happened to me must never happen to anyone else. Hospital staff cannot make mistakes like this”.
Maharashtra is one of the states worst hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, with 280 active cases reported so far and at least 13 deaths linked to the virus and 42 people being discharged after receiving treatment.
India reported its 50th novel coronavirus-linked death this morning, with 12 of those coming in the last 24 hours. Worldwide the virus has infected over 9.3 lakh people and killed nearly 50,000 others.