New Delhi: The country's premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here was converted into a fortress Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi went there for a routine check-up -- with patients and even some staff members not being allowed inside the building.
"The prime minister came to AIIMS between 10.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. It was a routine check-up after which he returned," AIIMS director M.C. Mishra told IANS.
His visit to the hospital, which caters to thousands of patients every day, gave a difficult time to the common people, who were not allowed in or near the building, with the whole area being cordoned off.
Eyewitnesses told IANS that not only were patients stopped from going into the hospital, some staff was also not given permission while those allowed to go in were frisked through an elaborate security system.
"This level of checking is unprecedented. We were frisked, and some were not even allowed inside," a hospital staff complained.
Eyewitnesses said the bus stops at AIIMS was emptied, and people were not allowed to exit from the Metro station while the prime minister was going inside the hospital.
The shops near the hospital were also shut down for a while.
Twitter was meanwhile abuzz.
"'Pradhan Sevak' went for a check up at AIIMS, early morning. Hospital was converted into a fort. Public/staff wasn't allowed at all," tweeted one Gaurav Pandhi.
"AIIMS bus stop was barred for public and there was heavy police presence at metro gate. People not allowed to come out of station," tweeted Pandhi.
Aam Aadmi Party's Ashutosh said: "Today AIIMS was turned into fortress thanks to Modi's visit. Emergency was shut, pregnant women and critical patients were not treated".
Lawyer Poonam Yadav tweeted: "AIIMS continues to be cordoned off. This ain't any regular routine check up Mr. Prime Minister. Staff and security tight lipped. Waiting patients locked inside the cancer wing. Nothing routine about AIIMS today. Roads blocked all around".
Hospital officials said the security pressure eased around 11.30 a.m.
Modi, as per officials, left AIIMS at 1.45 p.m. He underwent preventive tests, including an ECG, echocardiogram, refraction and eye pressure measurement.
According to hospital sources, the reports were mostly normal. Some more results will, however, come in a couple of days.