The employees, including doctors and security guards, of the Apollo Hospital in Delhi’s Sarita Vihar area were allegedly attacked by relatives of a Covid-19 patient who died early on Tuesday, reported India Today. A video of the staff being attacked near the hospital gate was widely shared on social media.
“About seven to eight hospital staff have been injured after being attacked by relatives of a Covid-19 patient at our hospital in Sarita Vihar,” a spokesperson of Apollo Hospital told The Hindu. “The patient was brought to the hospital and needed ICU, but we didn’t have ICU beds and we informed them [the patient’s family] that. We gave the patient oxygen and emergency care, but the patient passed away. The relatives then started attacking the staff.”
The hospital was also allegedly ransacked by the family of the 62-year-old woman, who had breathing difficulties. The hospital officials told PTI that they had also advised the patient’s family to shift her to another facility where beds were available.
“Unfortunately, the patient died around 8 am, post which the patient’s family members resorted to vandalism, destruction of hospital property and assault on our doctors and staff,” the hospital’s statement said, according to India Today. “While the hospital deeply condoles the death of the patient, it is deeply shocked at the behaviour of the patient’s family against doctors and healthcare workers who are providing untiring services amidst the pandemic.”
The police said that no complaints were received from the hospital or the patient’s family members. “The overall situation is under control,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) Rajendra Prasad Meena told ANI. “We have held a meeting with the Apollo hospital management and doctors.”
Due to the increasing number of attacks against healthcare workers and other frontline workers, the Centre had in April 2020 amended the Epidemic Diseases Act. The law makes attacks on healthcare professionals a non-bailable offence and includes a prison term between six months upto seven years in severe cases where there are grievous injuries.