Around noon on 12 May, Vinayak Jadhav, a resident of Mumbai’s Chembur neighbourhood and an 80-year old former banker, felt feverish and uneasy. At first, his family did not suspect that he had been affected by the novel coronavirus. He had barely stepped out of his home since the lockdown, except for a visit to an ATM ten days earlier.
Viren, his son, took him to a nearby clinic run by Vishal Chopra, a diabetologist. Chopra, who is also attached to the Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, asked Viren to rush him to the hospital directly. According to Viren, a doctor at the hospital asked Vinayak to undergo a COVID-19 test before they agreed to admit him.
“My immediate concern was that he should be admitted to the hospital so that they can start the treatment,” Viren told me. “Since he’s an octogenarian, I didn’t want to take any risk.”
But the hospital asked Viren to take his father home and come back once the result returned. “They told me it would take 48 hours,” Viren said.