Picture used for representational purpose only
MUMBAI: A 53-year-old Cama Hospital ayah and her 36-year-old daughter died within a couple of days of each other due to Covid-related complications. The family alleges that no urgency was shown to hospitalize or test the daughter at GT Hospital despite symptoms.
BMC doctors said the daughter came to their facility at Bhabha Kurla Hospital after five days of suffering from breathlessness. “She came so late that we couldn’t save her,” said a doctor. “If her mother had tested positive for Covid, why wasn’t she hospitalized earlier?”
The case underlines what is wrong with the city’s Covid healthcare mechanism — delayed responses at each stage.
A delayed response from healthcare professionals at each stage seems to have worsened the Cama Hospital ayah’s family tragedy. The help, who lived in Jaguwani Chawl, Kurla, started with a fever on April 28-29, her son told TOI. She was tested for malaria and dengue in the neighbourhood, but her condition worsened and she developed a wracking cough on May 2. “That is when the doctor suspected Covid and told her to go to a hospital,” said the 18-year-old son.
The next day, she went to Cama (not a Covid hospital), and its doctors told her to go to other hospitals. “My mother and sister went to GT and my mother was admitted,’’ the son said. The daughter complained of the same symptoms, but she was told she didn’t have fever or cough and didn’t need testing.
From GT, the ayah called up her family to complain she hadn’t been attended to for hours; she got oxygen support at night. “Thereafter, we couldn’t connect with her either on her cellphone or the hospital landline.” In the early hours of May 5, the family got a call that she had died. GT’s medical superintendent Dr Anant Shingare said he would have to look into the details of the case.
By this time, the daughter’s symptoms had worsened. She was taken to Kurla Bhabha on May 6 and died the next day. She had come from Dhule to be with her mother and younger sister, who delivered her first child two months back. “We are worried about my grandmother and my two-month-old niece. A BMC team said they won’t test us. This despite what happened to my elder sister,” said the ayah’s son, who studies at Chetana College, said.
Ward officials said seven Covid cases had been reported in the ayah’s area and four of the patients had died. They said a fever clinic was conducted where around 190 people were screened, but no one was found with severe Covid symptoms. The BMC said another fever clinic will be held in a day or two. Assistant municipal commissioner (L ward) Manish Walunj said, “We will test the remaining family members of the ayah (including the newborn and a senior citizen) according to established protocol.”