There is a buzz in Gujarat that after Delhi, the state may also be ordered to install CCTVs in their dedicated facilities for COVID-19 patients. Union Home Minister Amit Shah after a visit and review of the situation at LNJP Hospital in Delhi – a dedicated COVID-19 facility – on Monday, ordered that all the COVID-19 hospitals should have CCTV cameras so that proper monitoring of patients can take place.
There were serious complaints about mistreatment of COVID-19 patients in Delhi hospitals. Dead bodies being left unattended and other such videos went viral causing big embarrassment for the state and irking the Supreme Court.
Similar allegations were made about the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad and also SVP Hospital- both dedicated COVID-19 facilities. Many cases of patients not being attended to and complaints of poor hygiene practices had surfaced at these facilities.
A case had emerged where a COVID-19 patient was allegedly discharged from a COVID-19 facility and later his body was found at a BRTS station in Danilimda. Several cases of poor handling of COVID-19 patients were reported from Civil Hospital – the biggest COVID-19 facility in Gujarat – and as a result corporators and MLAs who tested positive preferred private hospitals over the government ones.
Complaints about private hospitals fleecing patients also emerged forcing Gujarat High Court to intervene following which the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation capped the maximum rent charged by such hospitals.
In such a situation, many experts feel, it would be wise to install CCTVs in Gujarat[s COVID-19 hospitals. Installing CCTVs in Delhi Hospitals is a welcome step and experts feel Gujarat should follow the advice of the Home Minister in this matter.
(The author is a senior journalist with over two decades of experience covering Gandhinagar, bureaucracy and politics in Gujarat.)