BMHRC Deliberately Not Reporting Covid-19 Deaths of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims to Govt, Allege Bodies

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Organisations working with the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster have said authorities of Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre are deliberately undermining numbers of Covid-19 deaths of gas tragedy victims by not disclosing them to relevant district and state government authorities.

As many as seven deaths of gas victims who succumbed to coronavirus in the Hospital's isolation wards in the months of August and September have not been disclosed to the relevant authorities. These deaths have not been added in the district bulletin issued by Madhya Pradesh government.

The organisations have written to Additional Chief Secretary, Health; Director-Gas Relief; and Collector, Bhopal demanding an investigation and action against the officials.

Out of the seven non-reported coronavirus deaths of Bhopal gas victims, two died in the month of August and five died in the month of September. Most of these patients were from the Pulmonary Department of BMHRC, said the survivors’ organisations.

On September 20, the organisations had written to the Indian Council of Medical Research, alerting them to the fact that at least eight people died in the BMHRC's isolation ward due to "lack of prompt and proper care as no full time doctors were posted in the ward".

The situation in BMHRC continues to be the same and gas victims are allegedly succumbing in an untimely manner.

The organisations have demanded that the district administration and state government officials launch an investigation to determine how many Covid-19 deaths have taken place in the hospital since March 2020.

The organisations have been raising the issue of heightened vulnerability of gas victims to coronavirus before the city even reported a single death, said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action, a body fighting the legal battle for 1984 survivors over rehabilitation and compensation issues.

BMHRC administration could not be reached for comments on the matter.