Healthcare services are spread thin in Lucknow due to the increasing coronavirus cases in Uttar Pradesh. But in an incident that can only be described as a case of apathy -- even when service providers are under tremendous stress -- a helpline operator asked a COVID-19 patient to "go die".
The UP government had launched a coronavirus command centre to ensure better treatment of coronavirus patients as well as timely delivery of medicines. But the operation has raised serious doubts after the recorded conversation between an operator and a patient surfaced.
In the phone call that lasted 54 seconds, the command centre operator can be heard calling a COVID-19 patient called Santosh Kumar Singh. He received the call at 8:14 am on April 15. In the beginning of the call, the operator verifies if she is speaking to Singh and if he is under home isolation, as per the data that's available with her.
Singh confirms the same and is asked whether he has downloaded the home isolation app. When Singh told her that he had not been informed about the app and that he had not received any call prior to this, an annoyed operator said, "Marr jao na jaa kar, gawar toh ho hi." (Go and die, you are an illiterate anyway)
After the call with the operator, Singh wrote to Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash informing them about the incident.
Santosh Singh had got himself and his wife tested for COVID-19 on April 10. The couple decided to isolate themselves after they experienced COVID-19 symptoms. On April 12 both of their reports showed positive for coronavirus.