Bengaluru, Jul 4: In a heart-wrenching incident, a 65-year-old coronavirus patient at Hanumath Nagar in South Bengaluru died outside his house waiting for an ambulance on Friday evening. The body was kept on the road for more three hours.
The deceased tested positive for coronavirus on Friday and immediately called an ambulance to reach a hospital. However, according to his family members, as he waited for the ambulance for nearly three hours, he collapsed on the road in front of his house complaining of breathlessness and died.
As the body lay unattended on the road, it began to rain heavily. Soon, videos of the body lying on the road in the heavy rain went viral on social media.
A senior doctor in charge of the division, however, claimed that the ambulance had arrived in less than half an hour but the patient had died before they reached the spot.
"The patient had given samples on Thursday at KIMS and tested positive on Friday. BBMP officials informed them that they would reach his house. But the man, fearing that he may be stigmatised in the locality, began walking to the corner of the road and collapsed on the street and died," the officer said.
Another health official from Basavanagudi limits said: "As the ambulance staff do not transport the dead, they informed the hearse van, which was set to arrive in 30 minutes. But due to the sudden rain and heavy traffic ahead of the curfew hours, they were stranded for almost three hours later." The officials also said the deceased had been suffering from cardiac ailments for almost 10 years.
Regretting the incident, BBMP officials said they were helpless as was an acute shortage of hearse vans. "We were told that there were 20 deaths today and there are only eight hearse vans available. They had to shift this patient after attending to another mortality and were stuck in traffic. By then, due to the fear of infection, nobody attended to the deceased," the officer explained.
BBMP commissioner B H Anil Kumar said that such incidents should not recur and ordered an investigation and sought a report. "We will ensure that such incidents do not recur," Kumar said.
Following outrage on social media, a hearse van was summoned and the body was shifted to the Victoria Hospital mortuary as per the protocol. Police have opened a case of unnatural death.