The family of a 60-year-old man in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city have alleged that they were forced to carry the suspected coronavirus patient on a two-wheeler after the hospital refused to provide an ambulance, NDTV reported on Wednesday. He died outside the hospital.

Pandu Chandane, a resident of Indore’s Badwali Chowki, had trouble breathing and visited the hospital on Monday. His brother claimed that the staff at the hospital only prescribed some medicines and sent him home. However, his condition worsened the following day but the hospital allegedly refused to send an ambulance. The family took him to state-run Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital on a two-wheeler, but Chandane was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

A relative identified as Rahul said the victim collapsed after some time on the two-wheeler itself, according to Hindustan Times.

Pravin Jadia, Indore chief medical and health officer, denied the family’s allegations. “The man had gone to the hospital on Monday and returned home that day,” he said. “On Tuesday, he was first taken to a private hospital, from where he was referred to MY Hospital. But when he reached there, he was declared brought dead. There was no question of denial of treatment.”

Meanwhile, state Congress president Kamal Nath’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja asked Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan if this was the state of health services in Madhya Pradesh and how many people would die like this. “The government should take action against the responsible persons,” he said.

Congress leader and former Union minister Arun Yadav urged Chouhan to pay more attention to the health crisis. “Shivraj Singh-ji, you can praise yourself as much as you want,” he said. “But please see this video from your city of dreams Indore in which this patient went running after three hospitals, still didn’t get an ambulance and got only ‘death’! His body was taken to hospital on a scooty.”

Madhya Pradesh BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal accused the Congress of “jumping the gun before getting details”. “Any death is unfortunate,” he added. “The government will look into this matter.”

The incident came at a time when the BJP government in the state has been criticised for failing to appoint either a health minister or a home minister at the time of a pandemic. Kamal Nath had on April 12 accused the Centre of delaying the countrywide lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak so that a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government could be formed in the state.

The state has over 900 coronavirus cases with 53 deaths, according to the health ministry data.

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