COVID-19 +ve DU Prof dies after six hospitals refuse admission

New Delhi: A COVID-19 positive Delhi University professor breathed his last on Tuesday after six hospitals in the Capital allegedly refused to admit him and purportedly turned him away. Professor Wali Akhtar Nadwi used to teach Urdu in the Arabic Department at the Delhi University and the Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) has said that Professor Akhtar's tragic death was a testament to "the shocking state of the health care system of the country".

Professor Akhtar reportedly developed symptoms on June 2 and was allegedly not allowed to get himself admitted at six of the Capital's prominent hospitals, including Fortis Hospital, Bansal Hospital, Moolchand Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and one hospital near his residence along with Kailash Hospital in Noida.

While a spokesperson for Fortis claimed that the hospital never turned him away, it said that Prof Akhtar had never stepped into the hospital. The spokesperson said that they had referred him to their flu clinic as their bed capacity was full but the professor's attendant never brought him inside, adding that he was in his car outside the hospital.

Of the other hospitals, while some said they had no beds, others maintained that they were not admitting patients who had a high temperature. Professor Akhtar succumbed to the contagious disease on June 9.

DUTA President Rajib Ray, in a statement released on Friday, said that the "harshly imposed" lockdown had not been utilised to prepare the necessary health infrastructure to tackle the pandemic.

Ray told Millennium Post that the DUTA is planning to write to the Chief Minister's office and the office of the Deputy Chief Minister over Professor Akhtar's death under these circumstances.

While Professor Akhtar's family members are trying to come to terms with his death, a DUTA official said they were not showing any COVID-19 symptoms and that they had been tested.

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