Telangana HC takes serious note of pregnant woman's death


Hyderabad, May 4 : Taking a serious note of a tragic incident in which a woman and her new-born baby died after she was made to run around hospitals on the suspicion of being infected with Covid-19, the Telangana High Court on Monday asked the state government to ensure that while fighting coronavirus, other emergencies like pregnancies are not ignored in hospitals. The court also suggested that the government make sufficient numbers of ambulances available across the state to cater to patients in emergency. A division bench directed the government to file a counter-affidavit about the incident by May 20. The court treated as Public Interest Litigation (PIL) a letter by lawyer K. Kishore Kumar to Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan. The lawyer, hailing from Jogulamba Gadwal district, sought direction to the government to ensure pregnant women were given urgent care in government hospitals. He drew the Chief Justice's attention to a heart-wrenching incident in which the pregnant woman was made to run for nearly 200 km, shutting between six hospitals and which led to the death of both the woman and her child. Jenila (20), a resident of Yapadine village in Gadwal district, had approached Rajoli Primary Health Centre (PHC) for delivery on April 24 but the PHC staff referred her to Gadwal District Hospital. On reaching there, the doctors asked her to go to Kurnool in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as her blood pressure was high and she was anaemic. Since it was difficult to reach Kurnool due to lockdown, an ambulance was arranged to shift her to Mahabubnagar District Hospital, about 100 km away. The doctors, after examining the woman at Mahabubnagar Hospital, found that her condition was critical and asked her husband to take her to Government Maternity Hospital in Hyderabad, another 100 km away. The lawyer said when the woman was shifted to Government Maternity Hospital, the doctors asked her first under Covid test as she was coming from a Covid hotspot. She was shifted to Gandhi Hospital, where she was tested for Covid-19. As the test report came negative, the next day she was shifted back to Maternity Hospital, where she delivered a baby boy through cesarean section. As the new-born had difficulty in breathing, he was taken to Niloufer Hospital, where he died the same day. As the mother's condition was also deteriorating, she was shifted to Osmania General Hospital, where she succumbed on April 27. Jenila's husband Mahender said both his wife and child would have survived if she was provided timely medical help. He said precious time was lost as hospitals in Gadwal, Mahabubnagar and Hyderabad kept turning her away out of fear of coronavirus. /IANS


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