The initial diagnosis of the young man was said to be an unspecified “mental illness.” Credit: Representational image

In a tragic incident a 21-year-old COVID-19 positive patient died after jumping out of the fourth floor of a hospital in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The incident happened late Sunday night and also hours before he unsuccessfully made a similar attempt to kill himself when other patients intervened.

According to the authorities at Sunder Lal Hospital- a teaching facility affiliated with Benares Hindu University said that the youth had been brought to the emergency ward on August 16. The initial diagnosis of the young man was said to be an unspecified “mental illness.”

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On the week that followed, the 21-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 and was then transferred to the COVID ward. There, the hospital staff alleged that he frequently left his bed to approach other patients. According to SK Mathur, the medical superintendent of Sunder Lal Hospital, the patient was being treated for both his “unspecified mental illness” and COVID-19. He added that on the morning of August 23, the patient tried to jump but people calmed him down. Later that night he jumped out from the fourth floor of the COVID-19 ward of BHU Hospital.

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Further investigations into the matter showed that the patient was a resident of Phulpur town in Prayagraj district. The patient after being examined by the doctors was awaiting treatments for his “mental illness.” As now the new mandate dictates that all hospital patients had to undergo COVID-19 screening, his sample was taken on August 19. It returned positive three days later and then he was shifted to the COVID ward.

Medical officials even told his family members that it was a mild case of COVID-19 and that they could isolate him at home and continue his treatment. The family, however, refused this proposal and insisted that he should continue his treatment at the hospital.

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