A 31-year-old Delhi Police constable – who on Tuesday became the first cop in the city to die after infection from the coronavirus – was allegedly denied admission by one hospital and treated and released by another, despite showing COVID-19 symptoms and worsening health conditions.
Mr Rana, who was asymptomatic till he spiked a fever and developed breathing problems on Monday evening, was also initially refused help by a coronavirus treatment centre in Delhi’s Ashok Vihar, before being rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The police officer died on the way to RML,mere hours after he first complained of medical problems.
According to Mr Rana’s colleague, who is the voice reportedly heard discussing the tragic incident with a third person on a widely-shared and unverified audio clip, Amit Rana had a mild fever after returning from duty on Monday evening. He took some medication and went to bed.
With no signs of improvement, in the early hours of Tuesday morning he was taken to the Ashok Vihar coronavirus testing centre, where he was told he could only be tested for COVID-19 and not admitted.
He was not tested for the virus at this stage and, instead, was taken to the Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital. He was allegedly refused admission here too.
Eventually, after a senior officer made some calls, Mr Rana was taken to the Deep Chand Bandhu Government Hospital, where he was treated, released and advised to take a COVID-19 test.
Mr Rana returned to the Ashok Vihar facility, where he was tested and directed to self-isolate. Hours later his condition worsened and he was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Unfortunately, he died on the way.
Mr Rana’s samples returned positive for the COVID-19 virus on Wednesday evening. His colleagues have been asked to self-isolate.
A resident of Haryana’s Sonipat, Mr Rana was posted to the Bharat Nagar Police Station in northwest Delhi. He is survived by his wife and a three-year-old son.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted this morning, praising Mr Rana for “not caring about his life” and “continued to serve the people”. Mr Kejriwal also announced an honorarium of Rs 1 crore, a request made by Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava.
“Amitji, not caring about his life, continued to serve the people of Delhi during this epidemic. He became infected with the coronavirus and left us. I salute his martyrdom on behalf of all Delhiites. His family will be given an honorarium of Rs 1 crore,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
On Wednesday, after learning of his death, the Delhi Police Commissioner had expressed sorrow and offered support and assistance to his family.
Over 70 Delhi cops have tested positive for the infectious virus, so far, with nine have been treated and discharged. Across the city over 5,500 cases have been reported, with 65 deaths linked to the virus.