The family of a 68-year-old COVID-19 positive man alleged that he died on Thursday morning after failed attempts to admit him at various city hospitals, including the government-run Lok Nayak Hospital.

“My dad is having high fever. We need to shift him to hospital. I am standing outside LNJP Delhi & they are not taking him in. He is having corona, high fever and breathing problem. He won’t survive without help. Pls help [sic],” tweeted his daughter Amarpreeton Thursday morning. About an hour later at 9 a.m., she tweeted: “He is no more. The govt failed us [sic].”

The Lok Nayak Hospital spokesperson said the man was declared “brought dead” at the hospital. “He died as soon as he was brought in. There was no time for admission. It will be treated as brought dead,” the hospital spokesperson said. Mandeep Singh, the deceased’s son-in-law, said they had on Thursday contacted Max Hospital Saket, Moolchand Hospital in Lajpat Nagar, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Apollo Hospital in Sarita Vihar, but in vain.

“Max said there were no COVID-19 beds while Moolchand said they do not treat such patients but the government website shows it. In Ganga Ram Hospital and Apollo, no one answered calls,” Mr. Singh alleged.

An official from Max Hospital said all the COVID-9 beds were full on Thursday at Saket hospital. A Sir Ganga Ram Hospital official “denied all the allegations”.

His family members said five days ago, when he had fever, they had tested him at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. “On Monday, we found a checked out a link which showed that he was COVID-19 positive but the hospital didn’t inform us. We tried calling them but no one answered. No officials came to the house where he was staying to put him on quarantine and no sticker was pasted outside the house,” said Mr. Singh.

He added that the family kept trying to admit him in different hospitals from Monday to Wednesday but they said no beds were available. “The hospitals told us to not even bring the patient as we won’t be allowed,” he said. “When we contacted Max Hospital on Monday, we were told to deposit ₹5 lakh so that we can take him to the hospital. They said the expenses would be around ₹8 to ₹10 lakh…,” Mr. Singh said.

“This morning, he had breathlessness and we contacted around four hospitals, but they said beds were full. Then we called the government helpline number, 1031, and they asked us to take him to Lok Nayak Hospital. His son took him to the hospital. However, the hospital denied admission and asked him to take the patient to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. By this time, his father had fainted and was rushed inside the hospital. All this while, the hospital authorities never came forward. He died soon after they gave him oxygen,” Mr. Singh said.

“The hospital wishes to clarify that the patient was not refused admission and was examined by doctors upon being brought in… When false claims are made and publicised on the Net, it hurts their morale,” Medical Director of Lok Nayak Hospital said.

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