New Delhi: A video showing bodies of COVID-19 victims lying unattended near patients undergoing treatment for the virus infection at Mumbai's Sion hospital is viral on social media on Thursday (May 7). The opposition BJP slammed the Shiv Sena-over the video, as the hospital is run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Expressing concern over the state of affairs at the Sion hospital, Maharashtra's former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state is a very serious matter. He added that there is a lack of coordination among the concerned agencies.
BJP MLA Nitesh Rane, who shared the video on social media, tweeted, In Sion hospital..patients r sleeping next to dead bodies!!! This is the extreme..what kind of administration is this! Very very shameful!! @mybmc"
— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) May 6, 2020
In another tweet, he said, "After the Sion hospital video more shocking info is coming from all the corners. Health staff and Mumbaikers r calling n sending info from all the sides on how the Maha Gov n BMC has completely failed! All I can say it’s a MEDICAL EMERGENCY!!"
After the Sion hospital video more shocking info is coming from all the corners. Health staff and Mumbaikers r calling n sending info from all the sides on how the Maha Gov n BMC has completely failed!
All I can say it’s a MEDICAL EMERGENCY!!
— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) May 7, 2020
Congress leader Milind Deora also expressed shock over video and tweeted, "Outraged to see corpses laid beside the sick at Sion Hospital. Why isn’t @mybmc following @WHO-prescribed protocols when disposing of #COVIDー19 corpses? Public hospital staff are doing their best with limited resources at hand. Mumbai’s administration needs to step up NOW!"
Public hospital staff are doing their best with limited resources at hand. Mumbai’s administration needs to step up NOW! pic.twitter.com/MURUNsIyfc
— Milind Deora मिलिंद देवरा (@milinddeora) May 7, 2020
On the viral video, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that there should be no politics on this issue. "According to the protocol, if a patient dies, the dead body is kept in a black sheet to prevent infection. The family members should take his body within half an hour but many times they hesitate to do so. Then the corpse is sent to the morgue but it takes time to complete the process," Tope said, adding "we have given instructions that within half an hour the dead body should be dispensed."
Meanwhile, the BMC has constituted a committee to probe the matter and asked the panel to submit its report within 24 hours, adding that action will be initiated against culprits. The BMC also issued a statement saying that a probe will be conducted into the genuineness of the video.
Earlier, Dr Pramod Ingle, Dean of the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion area, said the relatives of coronavirus victims are often reluctant to take possession of bodies, "that is the reason why the bodies were kept there unattended. "We have now removed the bodies and are probing the matter," he told PTI
Dr Ingle was quoted as saying "There are 15 slots in the hospital's mortuary of which 11 were already filled." If all the bodies were shifted to the mortuary, there would be no space for storing bodies of those who die of causes other than coronavirus infection, he added.