UP: Denied hospital admission, patients camp under ‘peepal’ tree ‘for oxygen’

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By PTI

SHAHJAHANPUR: A group of people camped under a ‘peepal’ (sacred fig) tree here after allegedly being refused admission in a hospital, believing that it emits a higher level of oxygen.

Around half-a-dozen people spread their beds under the tree along with their patients, according to Ravindra Maurya, whose sister also took shelter.

However, the chief medical officer said only one coronavirus-positive person was found at the spot in Tilhar area — 25 km from the district headquarters — and the patient had been hospitalised.

He claimed that there was no shortage of oxygen.

Roshan Lal Verma, the BJP MLA from Tilhar, said on Saturday that he went to the spot after getting information that some people were spreading beds under the tree due to shortage of oxygen.

“As I went near the tree, I saw 8-9 people spreading their beds. Some people fled after seeing me, thinking that police will come, arrest them and send them to jail,” Verma told PTI.

These people had gone to the medical college, but they were not admitted there.

Therefore, they put their beds under the sacred fig tree, according to the BJP leader.

“These people are staying under the tree for the past five-six days,” he said.

In a purported video, a man and a woman who are sitting on a mattress is attending to a girl who seems to be ill.

The man is also waving a hand fan at the teenager.

“We were sitting under the tree as it releases huge amount of oxygen. The other patients who were sitting with us had low oxygen level,” Maurya told PTI over phone.

He said the Health Department had took his sister for COVID testing and she tested negative.

But despite this, she was admitted to a COVID ward, following which they decided to take shelter under the tree, Maurya alleged.

Verma claimed that he had tried to contact Shajahanpur MLA and Medical Education Minister Suresh Khanna, but to no avail.

“Even today, he (Khanna) did not receive the call. After this, when the entire matter was briefed to District Magistrate Indra Vikram Singh, he took it seriously and sent an ambulance to the spot,” Verma said.

When contacted, Chief Medical Officer S P Gautam said, “On getting the information, we had sent a team, which could find only one person there. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalised.”

“We have enough oxygen available with us,” Gautam claimed.

“People who want to stay in their houses and get their treatment done there, giving them oxygen is not possible. But patients admitted in the hospitals are being given oxygen,” the official added.



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