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Hanif or Hamid? Assam hospital discharges wrong Covid-19 patient

The mix-up occurred when a state government-approved list of recovered persons was read out loud by hospital staff before the patients.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati |
Updated: June 13, 2020 7:05:51 am
covid coronavirus assam india The list of 14 names received by Mangaldoi Civil Hospital in Darrang district included one Hamid Ali, a migrant worker who was being treated since June 5.. (Picture for representation)

A civil hospital in Assam discharged a Covid-19 patient after mixing him up with a recovered person with a similar sounding name, sparking panic in the community.

The mix-up occurred when a state government-approved list of recovered persons was read out loud by hospital staff before the patients. This list of 14 names received by Mangaldoi Civil Hospital in Darrang district included one Hamid Ali, a migrant worker who was being treated since June 5.

However, when his name was called out, it was another patient who responded—Hanif Ali, who had been admitted since June 3 and had not tested negative till then. Hamid, curiously, did not respond.

A person aware of the incident said the confusion could have arisen as the pronunciation of both names— especially with a mask on — could be similar. A senior doctor at the hospital told The Indian Express that Hanif was discharged due to lapse in judgement by the hospital staff.

Hanif reached his home in a village in the district at around 9 pm in an ambulance. Meanwhile, authorities back at the hospital realised the grave error and initiated the process to get him back to the hospital.

Read | Experts say watch death toll, not cases; PM to talk to CMs

According to Darrang DC Dilip Borah, Hanif was brought back to the hospital early on Thursday. “Fortunately, Hanif has also tested negative in yesterday’s (June 11) results,” he told The Indian Express. Regardless, Borah said he has initiated a magisterial inquiry due to the procedural lapse.

Hanif’s residence has been sealed and swabs of his nearest family members, whom he came in contact with overnight, have been collected.

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