NAGPUR: A 67-year-old retired government employee who helped cremate more than 1,300 COVID-19 victims himself succumbed to the viral infection here, with his associate claiming that he did not receive timely help.
Chandan Nimje, a retired Central government employee, died on May 26.
Nimje, alongwith other members of King Cobra Organisation Youth Force, a social service group, had cremated more than 1,300 COVID-19 deceased since the pandemic began.
He was also felicitated as `corona warrior’ by the Nagpur Mayor recently.
Arvind Ratudi, founder of the group, told PTI on Saturday that Nimje, his wife, sister and two sons tested positive on May 2.
Nimje was shifted to a private hospital that demanded a deposit of Rs one lakh in cash and refused to accept card payment, he said.
He was then taken back home and admitted to another hospital on May 5, Ratudi said, alleging that calls to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) officials went unanswered.
On May 6, other members of the family too were admitted in another private hospital, he said.
As Nimje’s condition deteriorated, the hospital asked them to arrange Tocilizumab.
A person from Delhi who knew about the organisation and its work sent them four vials of the medicine without taking any money, Ratudi said.
On May 26, they arranged a bed for Nimje at the Government Medical College Hospital but he died before he could be shifted there, Ratudi said.
Had Nimje received timely and proper treatment, he could have been saved, but besides sealing the house the civic officials offered no help to the family, his associate claimed.
“I am going to file a petition before the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court about the apathy of the state government, NMC and district administration leading to his death,” Ratudi said.
“We, with our network of so many activists, could not get timely help, so imagine the plight of common people,” he added.