At a time when the country’s medical sector is stretched to the hilt due to the second wave of the Covid pandemic, a shocking tale of apathy has come to light in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow. When a Chinese virus patient called a health operator, the operator told the patient to “Go Die.”
As the country battles the second wave of the China-made pandemic, a shocking tale has come to light in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow. The UP government’s recently opened command centre which aims to ensure good treatment of the Covid patients along with the timely delivery of medicines saw a helpline operator display umpteen apathy when a patient called the command centre.
In the 54-second phone call, the command centre operator can be heard calling Santosh Kumar Singh, a Covid patient. After duly verifying his identity and confirming that Singh is in home isolation, the operator asked the patient if he had downloaded the home isolation app. Upon replying in negative as he wasn’t informed about the app nor was had he received any call prior to this, the annoyed operator said, “Marr jao na jaa kar, gawar toh ho hi.” (Go and die, you are an illiterate anyway).
An enraged Singh didn’t take the incident lightly and wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash apprising them about the incident.
Santosh Kumar Singh, whose father Manohar Singh is the former president of the BJP’s Lucknow Mahanagar unit, tested for Covid along with his wife on April 10 with their reports coming back positive on April 12.
Covid-19 helpline numbers and command centres are a major source of relief for worried patients and their families. If the operators were to showcase such apathy and behave in such an insensitive manner, it would defeat the very purpose of having helpline numbers. While the UP government cannot be expected to micromanage, it must take responsibility and ensure that such an incident is never repeated as it would only increase the mental trauma of the patients of the virus. The Yogi Adityanath government must plug the loopholes in its Covid management and take the sternest possible action against the insensitive helpline operator.