India: elder pro-democracy defender tested positive to COVID-19 while in detention facility (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Jul 17, 2020
- Event Description
Poet and Elgar Parishad case accused P Varavara Rao, who had on Thursday tested positive for Covid-19 after he was shifted out of jail to a hospital, was moved to Nanavati Hospital from St George�s Hospital on early Sunday.
Dr Akash Khobragade, medical superintendent of St George Hospital, said that around 1am, Rao was shifted to Nanavati Hospital for further neurological and urological management. Khobragade confirmed that Rao doesn�t have complications related to Covid-19.
Earlier, Mumbai Police sources had confirmed that 81-year-old Rao, who was first moved out of Taloja Jail to Sir JJ Hospital last week, would be shifted to the private hospital. The decision from the state government came a day after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notices to the Maharashtra government on Friday to ensure the health condition of Rao, arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), is taken care of and adequate medical facilities are arranged. Rao was shifted to Sir JJ Hospital on July 13 after his health started deteriorating.
NHRC, based on a complaint from the special monitor of the commission, Maja Daruwala, had issued a notice to the chief secretary and the director-general of prisons of Maharashtra state, asking for a report on the health of Rao within two weeks. It was mentioned in the complaint that Rao was suffering from many ailments, owing to which his health condition was deteriorating.
Taking cognisance of the matter, the commission observed that the right to life and medical care is one of the basic human rights and the state is duty-bound to provide a prisoner who is in its custody appropriate medical care so that there should be no danger to his life.
The commission has also directed the state to constitute a medical board to examine the health condition of Rao and to see whether the treatment being provided to him is appropriate. The commission has mentioned that the board is expected to decide as to which hospital, whether government or private, will give best medical treatment to Rao. NHRC had also asked the state to provide Rao the best possible treatment in a private hospital and also to ensure to bear all the expenditure for his treatment.
Rao was first taken to JJ Hospital on May 28 after he fell unconscious, but was discharged on June 1. The family had alleged that Rao was discharged in a hurried manner to obstruct his bail plea. �He was not normal at the time of discharge. While sodium normal range was 134-145, he attained only 133 and potassium normal range was 3.5 to 5.0, he attained only 3.55, according to the hospital�s own discharge summary. But, later on June 2 it was proved that all this � admission in hospital, getting a normal report, getting him discharged � was part of a conspiracy by the police. June 2 was the date of hearing on his bail application on health grounds in NIA special sessions court and police argued against his bail showing this hospital �normal� report. The judge accepted that and refused bail on June 26,� read a statement from the family.
Later, Rao continued to show signs of delirium and after objections from various quarters, Rao was admitted to JJ Hospital again on July 13. On Thursday, Rao tested positive for Covid-19 and was shifted to St George�s Hospital. Rao�s bail plea in the Bombay high court (HC) will be heard today.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Rights Concerned
- Right to health
- Pro-democracy defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 17 July 2020, Varavara Rao, elder pro-democracy defender, tested positive to COVID-19 while in detention facility in Mumbai, India.