NAT 200404 MOEEN 23-1586333214447
Moeen Ali with father Sayyed Aashiq Ali in happier times Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai resident has blamed ‘coronavirus paranoia’ for his father’s death in Madhya Pradesh, India, last week.

Moeen Ali, 39, said his father Sayyed Aashiq Ali, 65, was suffering from breathlessness caused by a heart ailment yet no private hospital in his hometown would admit him over coronavirus fears.

“My mother and brother-in-law took Papa (Aashiq Ali) to five different private hospitals in Indore on March 25 but each one of them turned him away saying they won’t attend to him unless he’s been tested for COVID-19 and ruled negative,” said Moeen, who works a technnical manager at a construction firm in Dubai.

NAT 200404 Moeen Ali-1586333210895
Dubai-based Indian expat Moeen Ali who lost his father in India on March 28 Image Credit: Supplied

Desperate pleas

“I found myself helpless. Being stuck in the UAE because of flight restrictions meant there was little I could do other than send out desperate pleas for help on Twitter. I even tagged Madhya Pradesh chief minister and the Indore collector in my tweets but didn’t get a response,” he said.

“By now my father’s condition had started to worsen. Left with no option, the same evening my mum got him admitted to a government-run tuberculosis and chest hospital where he was tested for coronavirus and underwent basic treatment for an pulmonary inflammation. At a designated TB hospital that’s the best they could do. My father’s heart condition, which eventually caused his death, was never addressed,” he added.

NAT 200404 Moeen Ali TWEET-1586333208801
Moeen Ali sent out tweets appealing for help after his ailing father was turned away by five hospitals Image Credit: Twitter

Aashiq Ali passed away following early a cardiac arrest on March 28. Later that evening, the family got his COVID-19 test result. It was negative.

Moeen said he might never be able to come to terms with the tragedy.

‘My father would have been alive’

“My father would have been alive if the paranoid hospitals had not turned him away. My mother kept on pleading that her husband had no travel history and wasn’t suffering from coronavirus but nobody listened. Coronavirus did not kill mmy dad, medical apathy did,” rued grief-stricken Mooen.

NAT 200404 MOEEN FATHER1-1586333212289
Sayyed Aashiq Ali was admitted to a government run TB hospital where he died of a cardiac arrest Image Credit: Supplied

“If losing a loved one was not traumatic enough, my family back home is being ostracised by neighbours who are convinced that Papa died of coronavirus. Everybody in the colony looks at my widowed mum with suspicion and thinks she’s potential coronavirus carrier. They even had our car removed from the locality and got our house sprayed with chemicals. I wish I was with my mum who’s going through such a hard time,” he added.

Recently, Indore’s chief medical officer, Dr Pravin Jadia, issued a press statement clarifying that Aashiq Ali’s death was not caused by coronavirus

District health officials in India earlier said the panic over Covid-19 have fuelled fear among private hospitals and doctors, who are refusing to see patients with symptoms similar to coronavirus.