The Central division police booked a case of bed-blocking at a private hospital and arrested three people, one of whom is an Arogya Mitra, for allegedly extorting ₹1.20 lakh from the son of a COVID-19 patient who later passed away.
According to the police, the patient, Laxmidevamma, was recently admitted to a private hospital in Nelamangala. However, her condition worsened, and she required an ICU bed. “She was taken to People Tree hospital near Jalahalli Cross-Goraguntepalya only to be told that no bed was available. While her son was trying to get a bed, two hospital employees – cardiac technician Venkata Subbarao and marketing executive Manjunath Chandru – approached him and offered a bed at M.S. Ramaiah hospital for a price,” said a police officer.
Working with the third accused, Punith, an Arogya Mitra in M.S. Ramaiah Hospital, they demanded ₹1.20 lakh from the ailing woman’s son. He transferred ₹50,000 through Google Pay and ₹70,000 in cash after which the patient was allotted a bed in M.S. Ramaiah hospital. However, Laxmidevamma died a few hours later on April 29.
The incident came to light when the family called 112, the emergency telephone number.