Kashmir Indepth

Did deceased Covid-19 patient conceal travel history?

Medicos say yes, Family refutes, Div Com orders probe


Srinagar, Mar 25, : Shortly after the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir ordered inquiry into the alleged mishandling of Covid-19 patient case who died on Thursday morning at CD Hospital Srinagar, a medico wishing anonymity that the patient kepatient the doctors in dark and never revealed his significant travel history.

The doctor told news agency that: “We have closely and keenly studied this case because the patient arrived at SKIMS on Saturday 21 March. The reality is that the patient had first gone to Malaysia with to attend a religious event organized by a Tableegi Jamat. After returning from Malaysia, he visited different States of India and finally arrived at the Tableegi Centre at Nizamuddin Auwlia in New Delhi. There he had been in touch with foreigners who were part of Tableegi Jamat and belonged to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Italy, and France and there he developed Coronavirus like sympatientoms. From Delhi, he landed in Srinagar and reached his home at Anwar Shah Colony Hyderpora, Srinagar and he offered Friday congregational prayers and at that time he was completely sympatientomatic. He was coughing and suffering from flu and fever. Being the original inhabitant of Sopore, the deceased patient left for Sopore then, where he attended a religious event called in Tableegi Jamat terminology as ‘Jod’. Despite being sympatientomatic, the patient had declared there that Coronavirus is not for them and they won’t get infected by this virus. He even led prayers there and interacted with a religious group that had come from another place.”

“After spending two to three days in Sopore he rushed back to his Hyderpora Srinagar based residence and was having active sympatientoms of Covid-19. At home, when he felt breathlessness, one Doctor Zafar brought him to JVC Bemina hospital. He was at JVC for only two hours; the reason is that he concealed his travel history. The patient completely concealed his travel history and didn’t reveal that he had been to Malaysia, different states of India and had contacts with foreigners. The doctors conducted his X-Ray after finding him ill and the X-Ray showed that the patient is suffering from viral pneumonia. On the same day he was shifted to SKIMS Srinagar and went to a Consultant with the X-Ray. This patient while looking for the Consultant, stayed at Medicine Ward where at least three doctors were exposed. He showed then X-Ray to the Consultant and again he concealed his travel history when asked about it. On insistence, the patient revealed that he had been in Delhi and on that basis the doctor decided to admit him general ward, not in Covid-19 Isolation Ward, because the doctors believed he has no significant travel history. The family of the patient refused to get the patient admitted and said they will again take him to JVC SKIMS. Finally, the family said that they will take the patient home and give him some antibiotics,” he said.

He said that next day when the condition of the patient deteriorated at home, he was taken to Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar. “Again at CD Hospital, the patient concealed travel history. For two days, the patient and the family were concealing the travel history at CD Hospital. His samples were collected after doctors found the patient is suffering from acute viral pneumonia and the result was found positive. It is was only after the final result, the doctors found that the patient had significant travel history.”

The medico said due to negligence of the patient almost 40 people including 7 doctors have been exposed and quarantined.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has asked Additional Commissioner Kashmir Tasaduq Hussain Mir to enquire into the matter.

An order issued by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir reads:

“Principal SKIMS Medical College-Hospital Bemina vide his communication No. SKIMS-MC-PS/2020/39g dated: 25-03-2020 has submitted a report indicating therein that a 65-year-old patient, resident of Hyderpora Srinagar who reported to Casualty of SKIMS Medical College Hospital Bemina on 21-0302020 at 08. 30 AM alongwith his travel history was found to be a COVID-19 suspect.”

It reads that the report further reveals that the patient who was later tested positive for COVID-19 has not been handled as per the protocol required for treating such patients.

“The order further reads that knowing the travel history of the patient and observing the sympatientoms of the patient, the Hospital Administration has not brought it into the notice of Divisional/District/Police authorities when he left the hospital without getting admitted.”

As per the order the patient has been given ample time to spread the virus by intermingling with the public and relatives. “The negligence at the hands of Hospital Administration has resulted in a lot of confusion and vulnerability amongst masses.

In view of the above, Medical Superintendent SKIMS Bemina and Head of the Department, Chest Medicine SKIMS Bemina are hereby called to explain their position forthwith, “the order states.

It also reads that in the meanwhile, Tassaduq Hussain Mir (KAS) Additional Commissioner Kashmir shall enquire into the matter for exemplary action against these officers under rules.

The Divisional Commissioner has sought the sought the enquiry report within two days. He has also directed the Hospital Administration to assist the enquiry officer in the culmination of the enquiry.

Meanwhile, a post purportedly posted by family of the patient on social media that is viral claims that the patient was not having any international travel history.

The viral post reads: On 18th March I had a discussion on phone with the senior specialist of SKIMS about the patient and revealed his travel history, his advice was medication and isolation although I was of the opinion to screen the patient in view of travel history but was refused.”

“So I kept the patient in quarantine, managed at home. As the patient was not improving we took him to JVC on 21March and again revealed the travel history and on the basis of travel history he was referred to SKIMS for Covid screening. So we took him to Covid clinic where we again revealed the travel history in detail and resident doctor discussed the case with the seniors who advised home quarantine and medication although I requested them to screen him for Covid but was refused in view of no international travel (as was the guidelines that time)”

“I then met the senior doctor at SKIMS, and requested him to screen the patient but was again refused because the patient did not have international travel, however he offered us admission or management at home in view of Corona problem in hospital. So, I took a decision to manage at home but he was deteriorating at home once I saw him next morning. So, I again called the senior specialist on 22nd March morning when he advised me to take him to JVC as we are busy with Corona drill.”

“I was absolutely helpless so I took him to SMHS Hospital where again I revealed the travel history, so on the basis of travel history they suspected Covid-19 and the Resident Doctor had a discussion with his senior consultant about the symptoms and travel history which is all documented and was referred to CD Hospital.”

“I am very thankful to CD Hospital where he was urgently admitted and kept in isolation and screening for Covid 19 done the same day. He was the most pious person in our family.” (KNT)

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