Kathmandu, May 6
Locals of Baijanathpur rural municipality-5 of the Banke district in southwestern Nepal took their 46-year-old neighbour to the Nepalgunj Medical College Teaching Hospital in the district headquarters after she felt difficult to breathe.
Before they reached the hospital in the late afternoon on Wednesday, the hospital had already posted a notice at its entrance saying it could not provide services to new Covid-19 patients and other patients with similar symptoms for the want of sufficient oxygen supply.
Nonetheless, the neighbours hoped that the hospital administration would reconsider its decision looking at the status of their patient.
With the same hope, they kept the patient on the hospital premises for two long hours, begging for a hospital bed.
But, the hospital officials did not heed.
Then, they took her to an isolation centre operated by the local government in their own village, where she breathed her last after a few minutes.
Dr Pradeep Kumar Chaudhary, the coordinator of the hospital’s isolation centre, says the woman was given oxygen support after his oximeter did not read the level of oxygen in her body.
“We learned that she was ill for the past three to four days but was taken to the hospital on Wednesday only,” Dr Chaudhary says.
Meanwhile, the hospital has clarified that it refused admission as its oxygen plant does not produce the oxygen required for a high number of patients whereas importing it from other places is also immediately impossible.
Dr Nitesh Kanaudiya of the hospital says there are 133 patients on oxygen support currently.
On average, the hospital currently needs 800 cylinders of oxygen for a day or one liquid oxygen tank every five days, according to him.
The deceased’s swab sample had also been collected for a PCR test for the coronavirus, and the report is awaited.