Russian says he dressed as doctor to tend to grandmother in COVID ward

Local resident Sergei disguised as a doctor takes care of his grandmother suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a hospital in Tomsk
·1 min read

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Worried that hospital staff were neglecting his ailing grandmother in a Siberian COVID-19 ward, a Russian man said he sneaked in disguised as a doctor to look after her himself.

Sergei, who declined to give his surname, told Rain TV in an interview broadcast on Thursday that he donned protective clothing and walked into the hospital ward in the city of Tomsk last week where he looked after his grandmother for three days, giving her food and pills and changing her bandages and incontinence pads.

Sergei confirmed his comments to the TV channel in a phone interview with Reuters on Friday. He also shared footage of what he said was him tending to his elderly grandmother in hospital. Reuters was unable to independently verify the footage.

Local authorities in Tomsk, around 3,000 km (1,850 miles) east of Moscow, said they were investigating his complaints.

Alyona Levko, a deputy regional governor in Tomsk, said a local commission had been brought together to investigate the incident. "Now they're in the medical unit ... and an inspection is underway," she said.

Reuters submitted a request for comment from the hospital but none was immediately available.

The Rain TV account comes as Russian hospitals grapple with a wave of coronavirus cases.

Russia on Friday reported 1,163 new COVID-19 deaths, its highest one-day toll of the pandemic, amid a surge in cases that has forced officials to reimpose partial lockdown measures.

(Reporting by Angelina Kazakova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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