Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said on Friday that the medical superintendent of the trauma centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi has been sacked, following the death of a journalist who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Ordered immediate replacement of Medical Superintendent of AIIMS Trauma Centre,” Vardhan tweeted. “On July 6th, a #COVID19 positive journalist patient [name withheld by Scroll.in] had jumped from the 4th floor & died.”
Vardhan said a four-member inquiry committee constituted to probe the journalist’s death by suicide had come to the conclusion that there was no ill intent on his part, nor had any treatment protocol been violated. But he added: “Directed that an expert committee be constituted to suggest suitable changes in administration, for AIIMS as well as JPNATC [Jai Prakash Narayan AIIMS Trauma Centre]. The report, along with its recommendations, shall be submitted before me by July 27, 2020.”
The police had said on July 6 that the journalist, who worked for a Hindi newspaper, jumped from the fourth floor of the trauma centre and was shifted to the intensive care unit, NDTV reported. However, doctors there were unable to revive him. Vardhan has ordered a high-level inquiry into the journalist’s death.
The journalist had been admitted to AIIMS on June 24 for coronavirus treatment, and had been responding well. “The family members were regularly counselled regarding his condition,” the hospital had said in a statement on July 6. “Around 1.55 pm today [July 6], he ran out of TC-1 where he was admitted. Hospital attendants ran after him and tried to stop him. He ran to the fourth floor where he broke a windowpane and jumped out.”
Delhi is the worst-affected city in the country, with 1,09,140 cases of the coronavirus so far, including 3,300 deaths, according to the health ministry.