The death of JD(U) MLA and former Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary due to the Wuhan coronavirus has stirred a hornet’s nest in Bihar as his Personal Secretary, Shubham Singh has completely exposed the state of Bihar’s health system.
Earlier this week, Choudhary, 68, breathed his last at a private hospital in Patna due to Covid related complications where he was undergoing treatment for the virus since last Friday. While leaders across political parties condoled the death of the JD(U) MLA, his Personal Secretary has hit out at Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as he highlighted Bihar’s crumbling heath infrastructure.
Singh alleged that while Nitish Kumar termed the death of the sitting MLA Tarapur assembly constituency a “personal loss”, no one knows how much Choudhary had to suffer during his last days as he had to wander from one place to another for treatment. Singh claims that despite being an MLA from the state’s ruling party, Choudhary struggled to find a place to get him treated for the virus and due to lack of proper and timely treatment, the former Education Minister lost his battle against the Chinese virus.
After having fever since the past few days, a concerned Choudhary got himself tested for COVID in Munger, however had to wait for three days for his RT-PCR report. While waiting for his report, Choudhary developed difficulties in breathing and hence was rushed to Patna on April 15 where he also developed a cough attack on the way which was subsided after he chewed ginger.
On April 15, Choudhary was put on oxygen support at his official residence in Patna. However, when Choudhary attempted to get himself admitted to Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) the next day, the hospital refused to admit him as his earlier report of the Rapid Antigen Test had come back negative while he was still waiting for the results of the RT-PCR test.
This led to Choudhary himself urging the doctors to conduct an RT-PCR test considering his condition of breathing, however, the doctors said that it would take two to three days for the report to come, and they could not admit him until the report came positive.
Singh further claimed that their former Minister utilised all his network and sources to get a bed at IGIMS, but all his efforts went in vain. Choudhary then knocked the doors of Paras Hospital which refused to admit him due to unavailability of beds. This led to Choudhary dialling the Patna District Magistrate, who in turn, ensured that Paras Hospital allocated the bed to Choudhary.
At Paras hospital, upon conducting a Chest CT-scan it was revealed that Choudhary was suffering from a severe case of Wuhan coronavirus, however, due to unavailability of beds in the ICU, his treatment was started in the emergency ward for the time being where he was kept on oxygen support. Choudhary finally succumbed to the virus and breathed his last on Monday.
The ordeal of a sitting MLA from the ruling party who was also a former Minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet raises questions on the condition of the common man in Bihar when such a senior leader with all his network had to run from one place to another to find a bed. The situation is grim in Bihar and Nitish Kumar must wake up from his slumber and arrest the rapid increase of the virus in Bihar.