Hyderabad: The family of a COVID-19 victim has alleged that the staff of Gandhi hospital stole her mangalsutra. Several other COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at the hospital have complained that their belongings and valuables have been stolen.

The 25-year-old woman died on 11 August. When her body was handed over to the family, they claimed that her 3.5 tola gold mangalsutra was missing. Her husband lodged a complaint with the Chilkalguda police, following which a case has been registered and an investigation is underway.

According to the police, the woman from Musheerabad was admitted to Gandhi Hospital on 1 August. She was wearing her mangalsutra at the time of admission. Her husband said that when he talked to her through video call on 10 August at 3.40 a.m, she still had her mangalsutra.

Later, she was shifted to the AMC ward on the third floor of the hospital in an unconscious state. Around 8.40 a.m. the same day, she woke up and found that her mangalsutra was missing. However, she died on 11 August. Her husband was upset when he did not find the mangalsutra but he conducted her final rites. Two days ago, he approached the police and lodged a complaint.

Dr. M. Raja Rao, the superintendent of Gandhi Hospital, said they have received complaints from patients about their missing items, including mobile phones. “We plan to install more CCTV cameras and have deployed security personnel on each floor of the hospital,” he said.

He also added that with the help of patients, they have identified some new workers and handed them over to the police. “We are asking patients not to bring any valuable items like gold, money, credit cards, and documents to the hospital. We hand over the valuable items to their relatives at the gate and get their signatures,” he said.

He said it’s unfortunate and inhuman to steal the belongings of patients when they are battling COVID-19. “Most of the hospital workers are risking their lives to serve the patients, therefore it’s painful to know that some of them are resorting to stealing,” he said.

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