Pregnant woman dies at Anantnag hospital

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SRINAGAR: A pregnant woman died at a hospital in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Sunday, with her family alleging negligence by doctors and medical authorities.

The family carried the body from the hospital in a stretcher trolley, a video of which went viral, triggering outrage.

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This incident happened a week after another pregnant woman died along with her unborn twins at the MCCH in Anantnag. The woman, who eventually was declared COVID-19 positive, came from a Red Zone area and had been allegedly denied swift treatment.

Shakeela Akhtar, a resident of Salai Panzmulla area of the south Kashmir district, was admitted at sub-district hospital Seer Hamdan on Saturday night, but was referred to the Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) on Sunday morning where she died, officials said.

They said her family alleged delay in her treatment at the SDH and also protested outside MCCH against doctors claiming negligence.

The district administration, however, said while an inquiry has been ordered into the death of the woman at the sub-district hospital and a doctor and a nurse have been placed under suspension, the family took away the body without completing the formalities.

“Prima facie, medical negligence that warranted immediate suspensions. Further action shall follow after enquiry outcome. About denial of ambulance, the infuriated attendants apprehensive about delay in burial on account of tests, took away the dead body without completing formalities,” additional district magistrate, Anantnag, Syed Yasir said on Twitter.

Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Bashir Ahmad Dar also said the family feared they would have to wait for the burial of the woman”s body if her sample was taken for COVID-19 testing.

“Preliminary reports suggest the dead body was taken away by relatives, fearing they will have to wait for burial if sample is taken for covid test. Most unfortunate to say the least (sic),” Dar wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, several political parties have demanded a time-bound inquiry into the death of the woman.

National Conference Member of Parliament from Anantnag Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi, while expressing grief and sorrow over the deaths of two pregnant women, welcomed the action taken by the authorities against the doctors and other staff suspected to have acted negligently.

Masoodi demanded time-bound inquiry and action warranted in light of the results of the inquiry.

CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami demanded an FIR must be lodged against the culprits without any delay.

“There should be no eye-wash or cover-up as due to willful negligence of the doctors, a mother and a yet to be born baby have lost their lives,” he said.

The Congress party also demanded an inquiry and action against all those involved in the death of two pregnant women in the district, a spokesman of the party said in a statement here.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) senior leader and former legislator Rafi Ahmad Mir also demanded a time-bound and a fair probe into the incident.