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AMU doctor suspended for ‘negligence’ as patient dies

The victim is a 55-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening with breathing problems. He first went to the emergency department, and a few hours later was shifted to the isolation ward and placed on a ventilator.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | Noida | Published: April 22, 2020 1:58:46 am
People waiting for food in Noida sector 33 during the lockdown over coronavirus,Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav

A doctor at Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) Jawaharlal Lal Nehru Medical College was suspended for alleged medical negligence on Tuesday following the district’s first death due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The victim is a 55-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening with breathing problems. He first went to the emergency department, and a few hours later was shifted to the isolation ward and placed on a ventilator.

The district health department alleged that it was not informed about the case in time, and the delay can lead to the exposure of several people. According to sources, the doctor is accused of colluding with an attendant to admit the patient for personal benefit, and not informing higher-ups.

The patient’s sample was collected on Monday, and it tested positive a few hours before he died around 4.30 pm on Tuesday, officials said. Now, 47 hospital staff members have been quarantined.

“Action has been taken against a member of our medical team, Dr Anjum Chugtai, for alleged negligence,” said AMU spokesperson Dr Shariq. “It was found prima facie that the patient, having COVID symptoms, was first admitted to the emergency ward, where he inadvertently got into contact with several other staff members. An enquiry has been set up and the report will be submitted to the administration as well. We are taking every precautionary measure.”

The district administration, meanwhile, decided to cancel the licence of a private diagnostic centre that had conducted a chest X-ray of the patient last week. According to officials, medical and sanitation teams have started cleansing the area, and placed the victim’s family in home quarantine.

Aligarh District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh, meanwhile, said that the other patient in the district, who has tested positive, is asymptomatic. “He is a resident of Nibri area and as per protocol the area is now a containment zone. Keeping that in mind, we will not allow any office to be open yet,” said the DM.

—With ENS, Lucknow

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