Covid-19: Tablighi Jamaat attendees kept without testing at LNJP Hospital; not given water, soap, medicines  

LNJP Hospital authorities have not conducted the required Covid-19 tests on them, nor have they been given soaps, adequate drinking water or even medicines for their pre-existing conditions

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: social media)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: social media)

Ashlin Mathew

After herding many of the people who came to attend the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, the hospital authorities have not conducted the required Covid-19 tests on them, nor have they been given soaps, adequate drinking water or even medicines for their pre-existing medical conditions.

“As soon as the Delhi government announced that LNJP was going to be the centre for Covid-19 patients, the emergency, surgical and special wards were readied for those patients. The people from the Tabhlighi Jamaati function have been put up at the Surgical building. They are on the second, third and fifth floor,” explained a nurse working at LNJP Hospital. The person did not want to be named.

“We were brought here on a bus from Nizamuddin on March 29. Before we got on the bus, they checked our temperatures, but they did not tell us anything else. Several of us do not have any of the symptoms. There are mostly youngsters and a few senior citizens here. But, they have not conducted any tests on us for these eight days. We don’t know if any of us have contracted the virus. If we are asymptomatic, then why were we brought here,” asked a person who has been admitted in the hospital.

The patient said that there was a shortage of soap, drinking water and medicines. “There are several patients here who need medicines for their pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes. Their medicines are running out. We asked the support staff, but they were not willing to help. There are no soaps here either. We gave them money and requested that they buy for us. They refused. How can we survive an infection in this case? Moreover, drinking water has been given to us in a bucket. Is this how the Delhi government intends to take care of us,” lamented another person in the surgical ward. The patients said they had tried to get in touch with several of their local contacts as well, but to no avail.

Water for covid-19 patients at LNJP
Water for covid-19 patients at LNJP

“The staff get water from their homes as the 24-hour canteen has also refused to provide drinking water to the patients. There is no hot water in any of the wards here. Doctors rarely come to check us. We have been asking about the tests, but there has been no response from them,” explained a patient.

Additionally, there are 34 people here in each ward. No social distancing protocols have been followed. At LNJP Hospital’s surgical building, each floor has two wards and each ward can accommodate 34 persons. “In each section on the floor, there are 6 beds as this is a surgical ward. We were told initially that we would have to remove two or three beds to ensure that the beds are not close to each other. But, later they told us to ignore it. So, there are still 34 patients in each ward, instead of 20,” explained the nurse.

On the fifth floor, in the first ward, five persons are awaiting their test results and tests have not been conducted on 19 of them. On the same floor, in the second ward, which has 30 patients, there are six positive cases. “These six persons have been moved to a separate cubicle on the same floor. But, the bathroom and washing areas are common on the floor. Even if there were people who did not have the infection, they are likely to contract it now because of the negligent set up at the hospital,” underscored the nurse.

As the wards are in the surgical building, each ward surrounds the nurse station unless other hospitals which have been made the Covid-19 centre. “In other hospitals, which are taking care of Covid-19 patients, the nursing station are set up outside the wards, so that we are not in direct contact with the patients. Moreover, there’s only one Personal Protective Equipment per floor, so only one nurse can use it. There is no separate dumping station either,” said the nurse.

Several calls to the JNJP Hospital director JC Passey went unanswered. As and when the director responds, this story will be updated.

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Published: 06 Apr 2020, 3:39 PM