A 65-year-old man died on Tuesday night in Sylhet after allegedly being denied treatment at hospitals due to the fear of coronavirus.
The deceased, Gias Uddin, a resident of Housing Estate in the city, was suffering from kidney complexities for years and was having dialysis regularly, said family members.
They alleged that Gias died with respiratory problems at home after being denied treatment at several hospitals in the area as his son returned from the UK recently and was staying in home quarantine. The authorities also told the family members to remain cautious, they added.
Rezaul Hasan Koyes Ludhi, councillor of ward-4 and a neighbour of the deceased, said, "Gias was undergoing treatment at Kidney Foundation in Sylhet. But they did not want to treat him as his son returned from the UK recently." His son and daughter-in-law had gone back to England a couple of days back, he added.
"Other hospitals or clinics also denied treating him in fear of coronavirus. He died without proper treatment and it must be protested, otherwise, many people will die without treatment," the councillor said.
Gias was buried at the graveyard of the shrine of Hazrat Manik Pir the same night after the deputy commissioner of Sylhet suggested not to arrange any gathering during the funeral, he said.
Contacted, Atiqur Rahman, manager of Kidney Foundation in Sylhet, said, "Gias Uddin has been our patient since February 2019 and was undergoing dialysis there three days a week."
"On March 21 night, he was given dialysis here and the next morning, he came back with some physical complexity. Not for coronavirus fear, as we didn't have any ICU facility and his condition was not good, we suggested him to go to a hospital with such facility," he claimed.
Contacted, Dr Premananda Mandal, civil surgeon of Sylhet, said, "The death of an elderly person without proper treatment is unfortunate. Everyone, even the coronavirus affected patients, has the right to get proper medical care. Home quarantine doesn't mean someone is affected, it's a precautionary step only."
"The medical history of the deceased may suggest he died of kidney complexities, but the fact of the matter is that he was denied treatment because of fear," he said.
Doctors at different hospitals-clinics are worried due to the coronavirus outbreak, but it should not be the way. We are urging all doctors to provide proper healthcare to patients," the civil surgeon said.