The Telangana State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has taken note of a complaint that alleged medical negligence in the treatment of Manoj Kumar, a Hyderabad-based journalist who succumbed to COVID-19 earlier this month.
The SHRC has sought a report from the state-run Gandhi Hospital, where Manoj was undergoing treatment after testing positive for coronavirus.
The complaint was filed by Amarender Rao, on behalf of the 'Journalist Forum for Telangana', who said that Manoj died due to "negligence and irregular treatment by on-duty doctors at the isolation ward for COVID-19 patients at Gandhi Hospital."
"After being admitted in the isolation ward, he was barely attended to. From June 4 midnight, he complained of severe pain and breathing complications. He was neither given an oxygen cylinder nor taken to ICU," the complaint alleged.
Stating that Manoj is survived by aged parents and his family has been "thrown into utter hardship and mental agony" due to his death, the complainant urged the SHRC to issue orders and ensure compensation of Rs 1 crore to Manoj's kin and a government job for his wife.
Last week, Manoj's brother Sainath, who was also being treated in Gandhi Hospital at the same time, lodged a complaint with the Chilkalguda police in Hyderabad.
Manoj died on June 7. His conversation over WhatsApp with Sainath before his death showed alleged negligence at the Gandhi Hospital. Sainath also recorded a video from the isolation ward at the time, detailing the series of events before the journalist's tragic death.
In his last text messages, Manoj told Sainath that he was not being treated properly and asked if they should shift to a private hospital.
Meanwhile, Telangana witnessed its biggest spike in COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with 546 new infections and five deaths being reported, taking the tally in the state to 7,072 and fatalities to 203. Out of this, 3,363 are presently undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Of the 546 fresh cases, 458 were reported from the jurisdiction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), followed by Ranga Reddy district, neighbouring Hyderabad, with 50 cases.
A state government bulletin said 3,506 people have been discharged so far.