Coronavirus Outbreak: Man arrives in city for chemotherapy, denied entry in building

Published: 17 March, 2020 14:17 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

The society denied saying that the matter was related to the coronavirus and claimed the owner had not informed the committee about their arrival

The Bombay Sarvodaya Friendship Centre, an NGO, owns a flat in Shree Sainath Estate, Mulund (West).
The Bombay Sarvodaya Friendship Centre, an NGO, owns a flat in Shree Sainath Estate, Mulund (West).

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, a Mulund housing society refused to allow a 74-year-old cancer patient, who had come from North East, to enter their building premises. The man had come with his daughter to undergo the second cycle of chemotherapy at a Mumbai hospital.

However, a committee member clarified that the matter is not related to coronavirus. He said they were not allowed to stay as the NGO, who owns the flat, had not informed the committee. The man was then taken to Arunachal Bhavan in Navi Mumbai, where he was provided accommodation.

The Bombay Sarvodaya Friendship Centre, an NGO, owns a flat in Shree Sainath Estate, Mulund (West). The NGO gives out the flat to patients or the needy who come to Mumbai. While the NGO was established in 2004, they began giving out the flat only since 2016. It claims that over 100 patients have benefited from their service.

On Monday, the 74-year-old Arunachal resident reached the building with his daughter and a relative. But, the security did not allow them to enter and asked them to speak with the committee members.  

"When the patient confronted committee members, they were told they did not want any 'foreigners' in the society in the wake of coronavirus. The family told them they are from Arunachal, not China, but they still did not budge," Anil Hebbar, trustee of NGO Bombay Sarvodaya Friendship Centre, claimed. "After trying to convince them, we decided to take them to another accomodation," he said.

The patient said he had come to the city to visit Tata hospital. "I have all reports with me, and many the society members know of me as I had lived in the flat a couple of months ago, but they still turned me away."

Kashinath Gaikwad, one of the committee members, said their refusal was not related to COVID-19. "We had already summoned Anil Hebbar for sending people to the flat without prior intimation a month ago. But, the NGO does not care about it. This is a housing society, not a lodge," he said.

He said that "during this tough time, if they accommodate anyone from another state, who would guarantee they are clean. "We requested them to make some other arrangements for the time being. We have sympathy for the patient, but we cannot do anything about it," he clarified.

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