NHRC notices to the Delhi Chief Secretary and the Union Home Secretary on the allegations of negligence in the treatment of Delhi Police constable who died due to Corona (12.05.2020)

New Delhi, 12th May, 2020

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi and Union Home Secretary after taking suo motu cognizance of a complaint accompanied by a media report alleging negligence in the treatment of Delhi Police constable Amit Kumar who died due to Corona infection. They have been asked to submit a report within four weeks. It is expected to include the Standard Operating Procedure adopted by the hospitals for the Covid-19 patients and status of its implementation.

Issuing the notices, the Commission has observed that the police personnel, doctors, paramedical staff of the hospitals are the ones, who are frontline fighters to curb the spread of Covid-19 virus. Alleged denial of admission in the hospital to a policeman, who had been doing his duty sincerely, is a matter of concern for the Commission. Timely treatment to the young constable may have saved his life. The reported incident seemingly also sends a message that the patients are, perhaps, not being attended by the hospitals and Covid-19 centres, as per standard protocol set by the agencies concerned. It shows reckless and negligent attitude of the hospital authorities.

The Commission has further observed that the reported incident also indicates that perhaps the hospital authorities are lacking in infrastructure and right approach to deal with the Covid-19 patients. The hospitals are required to tackle the situation very sensibly with a humane approach.

The complainant has stated that the deceased, aged 32 years was taken to the Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital by one of his colleagues where a test was conducted on him for Covid-19 and he was returned back. He was not admitted in the hospital. The victim, later, complained of breathlessness and he was taken to the RML hospital but he could not reach hospital and died on the way.

The Commission has also come across news reports regarding this incident stating that the deceased constable was taken to a Covid-19 centre at Haidarpur from where he was diverted to the Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital. The patient kept waiting for hours and then he was taken to Deepchand Bandhu hospital from where he was referred to a Covid-19 centre at Ashok Vihar where the doctors agreed to admit him on condition that he will have to manage everything on his own. The colleague accompanying him told them that he is not even able to talk and will not be able to manage.

He was taken back home and the matter was taken up with the higher authorities of the Delhi Police. Later, the patient was directed to be taken to the RML hospital, New Delhi where he could not reach and died en-route.