Government doctors in Varanasi have expressed their anger against the district administration in the wake of the death of an Additional Chief Medical Officer (ACMO) who was COVID-19 positive and accused the administration of putting them under undue pressure.
Apart from this chaos, a probe was launched by the BHU hospital after the family of the deceased ACMO was handed over the body of another patient from Ghazipur for cremation, in a major goof-up.
More than 24 medical officers and medical staff of rural and urban PHCs and CHCs in charge of COVID-19 handed over their resignation but later withdrew it saying they were unable to function under “mental pressure.”
In an application to the district Chief Medical Officer, the doctors claimed the District Magistrate had threatened to lodge an FIR against them if they failed to fulfil their targets. They claimed the administration was blaming them for COVID-19 deaths in the district.
The doctors also asked under what circumstances ACMO Jung Bahadur Singh died and if the administration would be responsible for it, as even Dr. Singh had been threatened with dismissal. They speculated if the death was due to “shock.”
CMO V.B. Singh on Thursday, however, said all the doctors who had resigned were working as they withdrew their application.
“They had submitted emotionally. It was nothing. All are working now,” Mr. Singh said.
Varanasi has 2,347 active cases, just behind Kanpur and Lucknow, the State government said. With 110 deaths, it was ranked fourth in the death toll among all districts in U.P. as of Wednesday evening.
S.K Mathur, Medical Superintendent of BHU Hospital, said a committee was formed to probe the facts and circumstances leading to the mix-up of bodies.
Mr. Mathur said Dr. Singh died in the early hours of Wednesday while being treated for COVID-19. The same day, the body of another patient from Ghazipur was brought to the mortuary, where they were kept in “similar type of body bags,” said Mr. Mathur.
The matter in limelight after the family of the second patient reached the cremation ghat and claimed that the body on the pyre was not that of their relative’s.