The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over reports of medical apathy towards two women in Noida, that resulted in the death of one of them and the birth of a stillborn baby to another. The commission asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari to file his response within four weeks.

“Reportedly, in the incident of Gautam Budh Nagar, an eight-month pregnant woman died when a frantic 13 hour hospital hunt failed to find her a bed,” the NHRC said. “The victim aged 30 years was taken to at least 8 hospitals by her husband including the government run hospitals before she died in the ambulance, just outside a health facility in Greater Noida on 05.06.2020.”

The NHRC said that in the second case, had the Noida district hospital not denied the woman entry, her baby might still be alive. It asked the Uttar Pradesh government whether it has issued any standard operating procedure to hospitals to deal with non-coronavirus patients.

“The Commission has observed that contents of the news reports, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights as the state authorities have failed to ensure right to life and medical care to its citizens,” the panel said. “It is understood that amid spread of Covid-19 virus, the hospitals are receiving a very large number of patients and there is shortage of infrastructure, but denial to attend to the patients by the hospitals is a matter of concern for it.”

On June 5, 30-year-old Neelam died after at least eight hospitals, including government hospitals, denied her admission. She was a resident of Khoda colony on the Noida-Ghaziabad border. Her husband, Vijender Singh said that Neelam, who was eight months pregnant, was undergoing treatment at Shivalik Hospital, a private facility, for complications related to her pregnancy. But the hospital refused to admit her on Friday and they had to look for another facility.

In the second case, a pregnant woman was brought to the Noida district hospital in an autorickshaw, but the hospital allegedly refused to admit her, PTI reported. Her family tried to arrange an ambulance but in the meantime, the woman delivered a stillborn baby on a pavement outside the facility.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had attacked the Adityanath-led government for the incidents. Yadav asked the state government “how many beds it had arranged for future generations”.

As of Monday, 10,356 people have been infected with Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh, and 275 have died, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.