Suffering from sore throat, fever and stomach ache since the lockdown began, a 35-year-old man residing in Chandigarh’s Sector 56 was finally tested on Monday, however, by the time he was tested positive for COVID-19, he was already on his way to his village in Uttar Pradesh.
With allegedly no directions to quarantine himself, the 35-year-old had left for his native village at Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh on Monday night itself. “Even after they took my throat swab on Monday, I was sent back home.
They said they will call me after the results arrive,” says the COVID-19 patient, had been visited the local dispensary and Mohali’s Civil Hospital several times over the past month, before he was even tested for COVID-19.
The 35-year-old patient, whose test results came on Tuesday night, though revealed by the administration on Wednesday, said, “On Monday, I got the e-pass which I had applied for long ago, so I started for my village on a motorbike with a friend on the same day. He also claimed that he was not directed to quarantine at home.
The patient, who worked as an auto driver in Chandigarh, he had been out of work since mid-March and since the lockdown began, he had been trying to go back to his village where his wife and children reside.
However, on Tuesday evening, before he reached his village, the former auto driver received a call from the health officials in Chandigarh, asking about his whereabouts.
Later, the patients also received a call from his brother in Chandigarh, who was quarantined with a few other family members at a facility in Sector 56.
“After reaching my village, I went straight to the quarantine facility at our village school,” says the 35-year-old.
Later in the evening, district authorities took him to a government hospital in Prayagraj, where he is currently admitted.
The COVID-19 patient says, “A health team came to our house during door-to-door surveillance. After I reported flu like symptoms, they asked me to go to the civil dispensary close to my house. However, people at the dispensary said that they were closed and asked me to stay home.”
Healthcare centres such as civil dispensaries in the city have been directed to refer people with flu like symptoms for COVID-19 screening.
The COVID-19 patient, who also suffers from diabetes and thyroid, had persistent flu like symptoms over the past month, aggravated by March 27, when he first consulted a doctor at the civil hospital. The patient visited the Mohali hospital at least three times between March 27 and April 29.
He last visited the hospital on Monday for giving his samples for testing, however, he was never quarantined at the Mohali hospital or referred to a hospital or quarantine facility in Chandigarh.
On being contacted, Mohali Civil Surgeon Dr Manjeet Singh told The Indian Express that a patient from Sector 56, which falls within the jurisdiction of Chandigarh, had come to the civil hospital and he was examined at the flu corner.
He added that the man had mild symptoms and the doctors collected his samples and directed him to stay at home.
“We followed the protocol issued by the state, if he fled then it is his fault. When his samples were collected, he was not positive for COVID-19,” said Dr Manjeet.
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