A woman in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, died on Thursday, two days after giving birth as she was denied urgent medical treatment at four hospitals over fears that she might be infected with Covid-19, The Times of India reported on Saturday.
The Uttarakhand health secretary, chief medical officer and the district magistrate have ordered three separate inquiries into the incident.
24-year-old Sudha Saini was taken to a government hospital on Monday after she complained of pain in her stomach, her husband Kamlesh Saini told the newspaper. She was seven months pregnant.
However, the hospital authorities denied her admission and asked the couple to come only when she completes nine months of her pregnancy. “They said that she was anaemic and must be administered blood,” Kamlesh Saini said. “They did not even examine her properly.”
A day later, Sudha gave birth to twins, who died just hours later. Her health deteriorated after that, her husband said.
The couple visited several other hospitals in the city but were turned away. “I took her to two government hospitals and two private hospitals but all of them refused to admit her, claiming that she had [a] high temperature and could be a Covid-19 patient,” Kamlesh Saini said.
The woman’s family then contacted Dehradun Cantonment MLA Harbans Kapoor for help. After Kapoor intervened in the matter, the woman was admitted to a government hospital. However, she died two hours later in the intensive care unit.
Dehradun Chief Medical Officer BC Ramola said a departmental inquiry has been initiated. “How can government hospitals turn her away when she was in a critical condition?” Ramola said.