Updated: March 20, 2020 12:02:59 pm
A Jalgaon-based doctor, who suffered high-grade fever and breathlessness, was turned away from four private hospitals that demanded the family first get a clearance that the patient does not suffer from coronavirus. After several hours, the doctor was finally admitted at Jalgaon’s Government Medical College. However, due to the delay, he is now on ventilator support.
District health officials said the panic over COVID-19 and lack of information have fuelled fear even in private hospitals and doctors, who are turning away patients with symptoms similar to coronavirus. The doctor in question neither has a travel history of flying abroad, nor did he reported any contact with any patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
The doctor had returned from Kolhapur to his hometown Bhusawal last week and developed fever. On Wednesday night he had high-grade fever and suffered breathlessness. His family spent the entire night trying to get him hospitalised. “We first took him to his general physician, who was not there. From there we went to an intensive care hospital, but doctors there said he might have coronavirus and spread it in the hospital,” said the doctor’s uncle. The family then took him to three more hospitals.
“Every hospital refused to admit him. They said what if he had coronavirus. We told them he had not travelled abroad but nobody listened. We spent the entire night running from one hospital to another,” the uncle said.
By 7 am on Thursday, the doctor was brought to the Government Medical College where he was put on ventilator support. Doctors asked the family to move him somewhere else as they did not have critical care support. “That is when we approached the district collector. He ordered GMC to continue hospitalisation,” said social worker Pratibha Shinde.
Dr Bhaskar Khaire, dean of the hospital, said the doctor’s condition has deteriorated in last few hours due to delay in treatment. “We have conducted blood tests. Since he has no travel history, a coronavirus test is not required. We are waiting for reports. He remains serious and requires ventilator support.”
Currently, the government is only testing a person with travel history abroad and with symptoms or close contacts of COVID-19 patients.
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