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BBMP chief ‘caught out’ on Covid victim case

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Picture credit: TV9 Kannada

Anil Kumar says body was shifted, while live TV shows it still lying on footpath

BENGALURU:

BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar put his foot in his mouth when he averred on live television that the body of a Covid patient lying on a footpath in Hanumanthnagar had been shifted to a mortuary, when in fact the telecast showed the body still lying on the footpath.

Friday’s news bulletin on Kannada news channel TV9 said the Covid-positive man was desperately waiting for an ambulance to take him to a hospital.

TheBengaluruLive

Speaking to the BBMP Commissioner live, TV9 anchor Hariprasad pointed out that the man died on the footpath while waiting for an ambulance. “If ambulances don’t turn up, do you want people to die?” was the anchor’s rhetorical poser to the civic chief.

BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar

In response, the BBMP Commissioner said that even as he was speaking to the anchor, his health staff had informed him that the body of the man had been shifted to a mortuary. “I checked with my team and I am informed that an ambulance was sent and the man collapsed before he could enter the ambulance,” the Commissioner said.

However, the anchor pointed out that the channel was showing real-time coverage and the body could still be seen lying on the road. (See the below link, courtesy: TV9Kannada)

Long wait for ambulance

Speaking to the TV channel, the wife of the deceased said, “We waited for a long time for an ambulance. Finally, a vehicle came but it was too small and the driver said he would bring a bigger ambulance. But we thought to walk till the main road to catch hold of any other vehicle to reach a hospital. I was walking ahead and my husband was behind. When I looked back, I didn’t see him. I thought he would have sat down due to breathlessness but when I went back, he was lying dead in front of somebody’s house.”

Said a neighbour, “The body was lying on the footpath for more than three hours and no ambulance turned up despite repeated calls. If this is the situation in Bengaluru, how safe are we?”

The anchor subsequently brought the incident to the attention of Revenue Minister R Ashoka, who said the incident had come to his notice and that he would ensure that the body was removed in the ‘next one hour’. The anchor had to remind Ashoka that the body had by then been shifted to a mortuary.

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