‘Second COVID-19 positive in Odisha stayed in doctors’ room, travel history concealed’

Bhubaneswar: The Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of a city-based health institute of national repute today demanded stringent action against the Medical Superintendent of the medical college and hospital for concealing the travel history of his son who tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday.

The RDA alleged that the suspect was brought to isolation room and kept in doctors’ room. The patient wasn’t admitted for over 12 hours risking the lives of those who came in contact with him.

In a representation to B. Geetanjali, Director of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, the association said it was gross negligence on the part of the Medical Superintendent and isolation unit in-charge to conceal the travel history of the youth who was admitted in the AIIMS isolation unit and kept in doctors’ room.

When the resident doctors inquired about the case, one of them said that it was a high profile case, without disclosing further details.

“One of the doctors didn’t disclose the details. He himself filled up the case sheet of the patient while hiding the relevant travel history. This patient tested positive yesterday and is the second case of COVID-19 in Odisha. Upon further enquiry, it was found that the patient was son of the medical superintendent himself and had returned from the U.K. three days back,” alleged the RDA.

Resident doctors pointed out that it was both medical and administrative negligence on the part of the medical superintendent that he did not reveal despite being in direct contact, thus risking the spread of COVID-19.

“While we residents are coming in regular contact with the patients while providing first line of care, the administration at top is yet to formulate a standard operating procedure (SOP) to handle suspected cases of COVID-19,” they further added.

Worth mentioning, the 19-year-old had recently returned from Edinburgh.

On the other hand, AIIMS-Bhubaneswar Director Dr. Gitanjali Batmanabane refuted the allegations and termed those as “misinformation”.

“The patient was immediately taken into isolation where he was tested by a doctor. His sample was sent for test and it came positive. He was then kept under isolation. All the close contacts of the patient have been identified and they have been asked to be under home isolation,” she said.

“It is being alleged that there has been gross violation of the regulations. This is totally incorrect,” she added.

Odisha government’s spokesperson on COVID-19 today informed media that the 19-year-old arrived in Odisha on March 18 and was admitted to hospital the next day. Family members of the infected person have been advised to stay in home quarantine.

“The coronavirus positive patient has come in contact with 46 persons. We have identified 43 persons so far and they have been contacted. Three more persons are yet to be contacted. For this, eight monitoring teams are trying to trace the rest three persons.”

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