On June 28, Premchand held his one-year-old deceased son close to his chest and wept on the floor of the Uttar Pradesh hospital, where he was allegedly denied treatment as his wife cried beside them. The video of the incident has gone viral online in India and social media users are calling the country's healthcare system "broken".
The clip that shows one-year-old Anuj in his father's arms was taken at the government hospital the parents took the child to.
Twitter user @alok_pandey shared the clip and wrote: “Extremely distressing visuals from the district hospital in Kannauj from last evening, where the parents of a one-year-old boy cling to his dead body and weep - the parents allege negligence from doctors, the district magistrate has denied on record there was any.”
The child died of fever after he was brought to the district hospital in Kannauj city on Sunday night, June 28.
Premchand, a resident of Mishripur village in Kannauj district, is heard saying in another video circulating online that no doctor treated his child.
"No doctor attended to him or even touched my son though we stayed there for around 45 minutes. We were told to go to Kanpur. I am a poor man, I have no money. What can I do," he is heard saying in the clip that has gone viral.
In the clip, the father says the child did not have coronavirus.
Tweep @Sayyedfaizi14 shared the clip of the man talking about the incident and wrote: “Kannauj – one-year-old kid dies at a hospital, family alleges negligence.”
Outrage online over a ‘broken system’
Tweep @SSChandel18 asked: “Why is it that when public shows outrage on social platforms, then only government understands the importance of healthcare, security and safety for an individual? Why is not inculcated within the system that government doctors and teachers know their responsibilities?”
Twitter user @rilaimkf posted: “Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes emotional. All the time - how helpless we are. It's not just about a government I'm talking about society. Look around how much we have failed. We got independence in 47 and where we are today. Sad. And sorry is not enough.”
User @Porludagantt criticised the Indian government, and wrote: “Extremely distressing. Don’t even know what to say about a broken system.”
According to local media reports, Kannauj Chief Medical Officer Dr Krishna Swaroop has denied the charge.
"A resident of Mishripur, Premchand, admitted his son Anuj to the hospital. A child specialist treated the child. But the child died after half an hour of treatment. It is wrong to say that the child was not admitted and that doctors did not attend to him," he was quoted as saying.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, several reports from India have emerged of hospitals being overwhelmed and even refusing to treat patients, especially if it is suspected that the patient might have COVID-19.