A 24-year-old person named Srinivas Yellappa got admitted to Rajwadi Hospital in Mumbai to treat meningitis and other liver problems. Considering the increasing complications and his deteriorating health, the hospital authorities shifted him to an ICU in the same hospital, where a rat bit him near his eye. He died the following day.
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He got admitted to the hospital on Sunday. According to sources, his health conditions were poor from the very beginning. Right after the initial diagnosis, they put him on a ventilator on Sunday. It was on Tuesday that one of his family members discovered bite marks of a rat near his eye. Thereafter, allegedly, his family could not meet him. They were informed of his unfortunate demise on Wednesday.
Yellappa’s sister, Yashodha, demands justice for her brother. She demanded an investigation, prompting the Mayor of Mumbai, Kishori Pednekar to order a probe into the matter. She holds the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) run hospital responsible for her brother’s death.
“What happens to our brother should not happen to other patients. We will seek justice for my brother. Why were we kept outside the hospital? We will ask the police to investigate this case and take action against those responsible,” said Yashodha.
The hospital officials testified to the incident of rat-bite but mentioned that the injuries were “superficial” and the patient’s eye was not affected at all. Vidya Thakur, the medical superintendent of Rajawadi Hospital, in a defensive tone, mentioned that warnings and alerts were issued to patients and their family members. Despite the warnings, if they left food products behind, it attracted rats. She said that the hospital would take corrective measures so that such incidents are not repeated in the foreseeable future.
“The patient was admitted to the ground floor of ICU. Food kept by patients in the ward is one reason for the presence of rats. We have issued warnings to patients not to leave food products behind. We regularly use sticks and rat traps. We will take corrective measures so that such incidents are not repeated in the future,” said Thakur. She remained unavailable for any further comments.
BJP Lok Sabha member from Mumbai North East, Manoj Kotak blamed the Shiv-Sena ruled BMC for the incident as it runs the hospital. He covers the constituency of Ghatkopar, in which the hospital is situated.
To quote Mr. Kotak: "The BMC is said to be Asia's largest civic corporation, but it does not have enough measures to protect patients from mice. The family at the receiving end is in shock."