On Wednesday (July 22) night, Belagavi witnessed unrest over the COVID-19 situation in the district. Following the death of a 55-year-old COVID-19 patient at the Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS), family members of the deceased patient and a crowd of over 100 people set fire to an ambulance and threw stones at the hospital.
The incident has led to a huge debate over responsibility for a COVID-19 patient's death. Moreover, it's become an issue of public unrest over the medical infrastructure in the district as well.
COVID-19 patient's death leads to a clash between hospital and family
A 55-year-old patient in Karnataka's Belagavi was admitted to BIMS suffering from SARI. He tested positive for COVID-19 and passed away on Wednesday. His death sparked a row between the family and the hospital over the treatment meted out. A mob of 100 then proceeded to set fire to an ambulance.
The mob not only set fire to the ambulance but hurled stones at the hospital and had a violent clash with medical workers. The mob also pelted stones at police vehicles in the vicinity. It took an hour for the police to bring the situation under control.
Speaking to the media from the spot, the District Commissioner, that angered by the treatment and issues with the hospital the mob had taken to such drastic measures, but he said, "However, emotional they might have been, in light of the situation they shouldn't have done this." Nobody was inside the ambulance at the time of it being burnt.
An investigation is on and a case has been registered. Certain relatives of a deceased patient told the New Indian Express in a video, that the hospital told them that there were no ambulances and that they would have to bring the patient to the hospital in their private vehicle, the hospital had said they don't have oxygen or beds.
Due to the situation, many medical workers and hospital staff gathered on Thursday morning outside BIMS to protest the events of Wednesday night.