BHOPAL: After death of five gas victims due to coronavirus, the state government on Wednesday removed the name of Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) from list of COVID-19 dedicated hospitals. The medical facility will however continue to conduct test for COVID-19,

Ealier, BMHRC was earmarked as COVID-19 Hospital, which has been dedicated to gas victims. Even gas victims had protesed against BMHRC administration over its indifferent attitude toward gas victims. They wrote letters to competent authorities stating that five lakh gas victims are most vulnerable population as they already have respiratory problems. Even gas victims had moved Supreme Court, which told them to approach High Court. The latter asked state government to reply.

But by then, five gas victims died in other hospitals due to corona infection.

Rachna Dhingra, member of NGO Bhopal Group for Information and Action said, " It is our victoy as we had raised voice agasinst state government for dedicating BMHRC for treatment of COVID-19 causing hardship to these people."

The first coronavirus victim in Bhopal, a 55-year-old man, died at a hospital on April 5 due to negligence of authorities, she alleged. Another 80-year-old gas tragedy victim, who was a retired employee of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), was also not given due medical care. He died on April 8 and his sample was found positive for coronavirus on April 11.

"Besides, a 40-year-old gas tragedy victim, who was suffering from oral cancer for more than a year, died on April 12 and his sample test report also came out positive for coronavirus," she said. Another 52-year-old gas mishap survivor, who suffered from a permanent injury, had history of tuberculosis and could not get prompt care for his respiratory problems.

He recently tested positive for coronavirus and died on his way to COVID-19 ward at Hamidia hospital, according to Rachna. Besides, a 75-year-old senior journalist, who survived the gas tragedy, died on April 11 and his sample test report came out positive for coronairus on Tuesday, she said.

For last 22 days, no gas victim was allowed to avail emergency services in BMHRC, she said. In a letter to gas relief hospital's monitoring committee chairman, retired Justice VK Agrawal, the NGOs urged him to re-start the medical facility for gas victims considering their vulnerability.

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