A police constable, who was admitted to a state-run hospital in Kolkata with “respiratory problems and other COVID-19 symptoms”, died on Monday morning, sparking anger and anxiety among his colleagues, who staged a protest, alleging negligence on the part of their seniors.
The victim, in his late 40s, had been suffering from respiratory issues for a while, but he was taken to the hospital by the police only on Sunday, they claimed.
Some of the agitators also vandalised property at the Garfa police station, claiming that the constable should have been taken to a private hospital for better treatment.
Hospital officials were not available for comment on the matter, but sources in the Kolkata Police said that the constable’s swab samples have tested negative for COVID-19.
“He was admitted to the Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) ward, although he showed symptoms of COVID-19. I think he should have been taken better care of, before his condition deteriorated. And why wasn’t he was taken to a private hospital,” one of the agitating policemen said.
A team of senior officers of the Kolkata Police reached the Garfa police station to pacify the agitators, following which they called off the protest.
At least seven police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kolkata so far.
Last week, over 500 personnel of the Kolkata Police Combat Force had protested at the Police Training School complex on AJC Bose Road, claiming that they were being deployed in areas where chances of contracting COVID-19 are high.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had assured to look into their grievances and demands, and promised to provide them the best medical facilities available.