COVID-19 Ward Worker Dies in Mumbai Hospital: 'Had Symptoms But Wasn't Given Leave'

The death at the BMC-run King Edward Memorial hospital triggered a protest by employees.

Mumbai: The death of a health worker at the King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital here triggered a protest by employees on Tuesday alleging apathy by the city civic body towards their working conditions during the coronavirus crisis.

The paramedics and doctors protested outside the hospital in masks and protective gears.

A staff union official at KEM, a municipal hospital, claimed the worker was not sanctioned sick leave despite complaining about body pain.

“The worker had complained of body ache and weakness over the last two days but he was not sanctioned leave,” the official said. He also claimed the worker hardly received any treatment and was not even tested for coronavirus.

“His death shows the civic administration’s apathy towards us. If we are not given (basic protection like) gloves and face shields, our life could be in danger,” he said.

Like other healthcare facilities, the KEM Hospital, run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has been stretched to the limit because of rising virus cases and inadequate staff.

Among more than 52,000 coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, 31,972 cases were reported from Mumbai city, where the death toll crossed the 1,000-mark on Monday.