A short distance from the emergency area of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, scattered groups of people took shelter under trees, clutching their bags and other belongings around noon on Monday. These were people whose relatives had been admitted as Covid-19 patients in the hospital, located in North East Delhi’s Dilshad Garden.

Entry to Covid-19 hospital wards and isolation facilities is strictly barred, even to the families of the patients, to prevent the spread of infection. But those waiting outside the GTB hospital claimed that they regularly entered the wards to look after their relatives because hospital staffers were not available to attend to them. There was no one to give patients adequate water or meals on time, or even help those who were breathless to walk up to the washroom, they alleged.

“We sit [in the ward] for four to five hours,” said Vipin Shrivastav, whose brother-in-law was admitted to the hospital. “They [hospital staffers] do not touch [the patients]. They tell us to feed them, to take them to the bathroom. We have to do everything. We go every day.”

Outside another Delhi government-run hospital, the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, waiting relatives said they were forced to walk into the wards...

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