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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Chandigarh: ‘We contacted officials, but no help arrived’, says relative of 67-year-old man who died three days after testing positive

The man’s family said that they regularly contacted the helpline after the report came out positive, but no one took his case seriously and did not visit his home in Sector 63 for monitoring, contact tracing, or treatment, despite the patient being an elderly with comorbidities.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | September 25, 2020 10:11:13 am
Chandigarh news, Chandigarh coronavirus cases, chandigarh hospitals, Chandigarh man dies, Chandigarh administration, Indian expressOn September 18, three days after testing positive, the man was taken to GMCH-32. However, he was sent just sent home after a CT scan. Two hours later, he died. (Express photo: Jaipal Singh)

A 67-year-old man, who passed away mere hours after testing for the positive for the novel coronavirus, was not assisted by the UT administration, alleged his family members.

On September 18, three days after testing positive, the man was taken to GMCH-32. However, he was sent just sent home after a CT scan. Two hours later, he died.

The man’s family said that they regularly contacted the helpline after the report came out positive, but no one took his case seriously and did not visit his home in Sector 63 for monitoring, contact tracing, or treatment, despite the patient being an elderly with comorbidities.

“When he tested positive, despite contacting the helpline repeatedly no one contacted him. We informed them that he was 67-year-old, a cardiac patient with two stents in the heart but nothing was done. He did not just have mild symptoms, he had fever and cough. Ideally when someone tests positive, there should be a response team that immediately visits them. It was us who contacted the officials but no help arrived,” said a relative of the patient.

The man’s son, wife and daughter in law also tested positive for Covid the day he died.

“Even after all his family members tested positive, there was no response from the UT administration. Finding no help, I then tried contacting officials from Panchkula, who referred some drugs like hydroxychloroquine. However, the Chandigarh administration did not provide any such kit. They should at least provide a kit where there is a list of medicines to be taken by the patient who is positive and assistance to the ones attending the patient. Ideally, they should have immediately admitted the man since he did not qualify the home isolation norms,” said the man’s relative, and further added, “I believe an undertaking is taken from a person taking home isolation, but not a single person visited the house.”

According to the city’s home isolation policy, asymptomatic patients like the ones who are pre-symptomatic and have very mild symptoms can opt for home isolation so as to avoid contact with other family members. But in case of this patient, there was no evaluation by any medical officer. However, the man was above 60 and has comorbidities.

“Even after he passed away, the situation did not improve, as it took the family 36 hours and a plethora of formalities to ahead with the cremation,” added the relative.

UT Adviser Manoj Parida was contacted, but did not respond.

Looking at the state of affairs in Chandigarh, the man’s family members have got themselves admitted at a private hospital in Mohali.

On Wednesday, The Indian Express had reported how Covid positive patients who repeatedly contacted the helpline, saying they had tested positive for the virus, did not get any help or assistance for days.

‘Difficult to get admitted’

Chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh, Baljinder Singh Bittu, stated that it is really difficult to get admission in Chandigarh government hospitals.

I know I have got calls from people. You require a sifarish to get a bed in Chandigarh hospitals. People are also afraid of getting admitted, thinking if they will really be cared for or not there,” added the FOSWAC Chairman said.

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