Coronavirus | Driven from pillar to post, a valuable life lost

Tweet on 24-year-old’s condition evokes no response

Shaikh Najma, a 24-year-old PG student, began coughing in the morning at her home in Namdevwada in Nizamabad on Tuesday. Her father Razzaq and her mother Fatima didn’t think about it much. But by afternoon the cough became intense and her father reached out to a neighbour and she was taken to the Nizamabad Government Hospital at 4 p.m.

“A Rapid Antigen Test was conducted and it came out negative. The doctors told us to take the girl home as it wasn’t COVID-19,” says M. Prashant who helped the family and spoke to The Hindu on behalf of the family. The family got a CT scan at the hospital and showed it to a private practitioner who diagnosed serious damage to the lung, suggestive of COVID-19. But the Nizamabad hospital refused to admit her. “By 9 p.m. she had difficulty in breathing and we hired an ambulance with oxygen and started towards Hyderabad to admit her in a government hospital,” says Mr. Prashant.

At 10.15 p.m. with the ambulance speeding towards Hyderabad, the family sent out a tweet tagging IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao, the Health Minister and the MLC of Nizamabad.

“Any leads. On ventilator beds vacant in govt. hospitals in Hyd. Her condition is serious. Shifting from Nzb to Hyd. Pls let me know where to join her (sic).”

The family reached the gates of the Osmania Hospital at 10.50 p.m. where they were told there was an oxygen bed available. After a 20-minute wait, the hospital staff said there were no vacancies and they should try at the Gandhi General Hospital. At 11.40 p.m. the ambulance reached the GGH and the attenders were asked to get down before it was driven inside. But after a 20-minute wait, the family was told there is no vacancy and they should try at the Fever Hospital. At 12.20 a.m., the ambulance raced to the Fever Hospital with Ms. Najma struggling to breathe. The family was told there are no beds and should try the TIMS in Gachibowli.

At 1.12 a.m. when the ambulance reached the TIMS, Ms. Najma breathed her last. One of the persons aiding the family tweeted:

“We Lost her.

At the gates of TIMS.

We lost this race in saving a valuable life.

No beds at Gandhi.

No beds at Fever Hospital

No beds at Osmania Hospital.”

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