Several victims of the LG Polymer gas leak refused to leave the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam after being declared fit for discharge. Insisting that they were still suffering effects of exposure to the styrene leak, they demanded that the government must provide better medical care for the victims.
Many patients reportedly surrounded Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, who had visited the hospital, questioning the government’s response so far and calling it insufficient.
Speaking to Telugu channels, one of the gas leak victims said, “None of us has recovered. That is a misconception. This is the second time they have discharged us. Earlier we went home, and suffered bleeding from the mouth so we joined again… I am still shivering. The pain and burning sensation keep recurring unexpectedly.”
Another woman said that the compensation of Rs 25,000 was insufficient for the treatment and other expenses resulting from the damage caused by the leak. “When I was in the ICU, (Chief Minister) Jagan visited and said we will be taken care of until we recover … Jagan must come back and do what he promised, we don’t trust the leaders here. We want health cards. They haven’t been treating us properly today, I have been getting seizures and even collapsed a while ago,” she said.
Some of them said that their neighbours who had returned home were suffering from pain and nausea again and that the odour from the leak had remained.
“The hospital people say we are fine but my head still hurts. Because of the coronavirus situation, no one will take us into their homes. Where can we go?” one of the victims asked.
King George Hospital Superintendent Arjuna told TNM that around 180 people were all found fit for discharge by the doctors and were supposed to be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.
“But they refused to go as they felt that the situation was not safe around their homes yet. They said that some of the people living in their areas were still feeling unwell and that the neighbourhood wasn’t yet safe to return to. They also expressed dissatisfaction with the compensation amount. The matter has been brought to the attention of the Collector and MLA who will decide the future course. The people were not discharged after the agitation, and have stayed back in the hospital,” he said.