A Chembur teenager has accused the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of being unresponsive towards a coronavirus patient and shared a video that has gone viral on various social media platforms. However, when The Free Press Journal contacted civic officials and the local corporator, they rubbished the teen's claims, saying the boy's grandfather was under treatment and he died at KEM Hospital.
In the video, the seventeen-year-old, who resides in a chawl at Lal Dongri, claimed his grandfather died of Covid-19 earlier this week and despite having sent out several requests for help, not a single civic or health official turned up.
"My grandfather had symptoms of Covid-19 and we sent out an SOS to the local ward office and corporators but no one showed up, leaving us to fend for ourselves," he says in the video.
"We took our patient to Sushrut, SRV, Rajawadi, and other hospitals. But none of them were ready to provide treatment and my grandfather died," he says. Now, all twelve members of his family are showing symptoms and they all live together in a chawl at Lal Dongri, he has claimed.
"The boy's grandfather was admitted to KEM Hospital, where he died. All 12 members of the family are currently quarantined in Covid-19 facilities at Dharavi and Kurla," Dr Bhupendra Patil, Medical Officer of Health (MOH), M west ward.
"Civic officials are wrongly being blamed. Most of his family members are in Dharavi, whereas he is in Kurla. His request to officials to shift him to Dharavi was denied. So he is now playing such a dirty blame game by circulating fake news," said Patil.
Further, said Patil, the teen spread rumours saying the quarantine facility where he was stationed was ill-equipped. When civic officials went to inspect the facility, they found his claims to be false, maintains Patil.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator Mahadev Shivgan said that when the boy's family sent out the SOS, civic officials reached them and medical attention was given to his grandfather.
"This was an emergency and we respond immediately to citizens in such situations," said Shivgan.
"The teen's claims are completely false, as his whole family is quarantined in Dharavi and Kurla," he added.