The Delhi Minorities Commission has raised concerns over the death of two men at a COVID-19 quarantine centre in Delhi's Sultanpuri
The panel has alleged that the two men both died as they were diabetic and were not provided food and medicines. The panel has requested Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to look into the incident.
In a letter to Baijal and Kejriwal, Commission chairman Zafarul-Islam Khan and member Kartar Singh Kochhar mentioned that shoddy conditions at the quarantine centres were responsible for the death of the two men. They claimed it was "due to the callous and uncooperative nature of officers and doctors manning and supervising these camps and erratic supply of food at these facilities" that the two diabetic patients died.
The panel said that out of the two men, Haji Rizwan died nearly 10 days ago, while 60-year-old Mohamed Mustafa died recently on April 22 and both hailed from Tamil Nadu. Both of them had attended the Markaz in Nizamuddin that was organised by the Tablighi Jamaat.
The Commission said, "Tablighi Jamaat inmates include Indians from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, U.P. and Rajasthan while there are also foreign nationals from Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan. They include elderly people with health issues who require special care and medical attention."
The commission also stated that many of them had tested negative after completing 25 days in quarantine, more than the mandatory 14 days. However, the commissioned also alleged that those who had tested negative were kept with "some of those who tested positive".
Out of 21 positive cases of Jamaat members at Sultanpuri camp, only 4-5 were taken to hospitals, the Commission highlighted in its letter.
The panel said it has received multiple complaints of inhuman treatment from these centres.
"Breakfast is served at 11 a.m. and dinner at 10-11 pm. The food is hardly edible. As a result people are having stomach problems and some are vomiting. Medical facilities and medicines are not provided while some of the inmates are diabetic and heart patients. Doctors rarely visit the patients."
The Commission wrote, "Inmates are not given necessary and life-saving medicines, as a result of which two diabetic patients have already died in the quarantine camp at Sultanpuri."
It added, "It is very unfortunate that this was allowed to happen due to the carelessness of the medical and administrative staff while these persons were in government care and therefore government was responsible for their safekeeping and welfare during their detention."
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