Three days after they were discharged after testing negative for Covid-19, a dozen workers of a soft drink plant were brought back to a government-run hospital at Bari Brahmana in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district after their samples tested positive in another round of testing.
After discharge, many of the workers had travelled to their homes at different places in the Jammu region. They are now back at the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital.
National Health Mission director in the Union Territory, Bhupinder Kumar, who is nodal officer for Covid-19 control efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, denied knowledge of the incident. He said he will look into it and take necessary action.
According to sources, about 15 workers at a soft drink plant were quarantined after one of them tested positive for Covid-19 on July 1. The next day, their samples tested positive. They were admitted to ESIC Hospital on July 5. Nine days later, health officials collected their samples and the results came negative on July 17.
The same day, health officials took their samples again for a second test but before the reports came, doctors discharged all of them. On the evening of June 17, when the reports came, 12 of the 15 workers tested positive and doctors started frantically looking for them. By then, some of them had gone home to places outside Samba district.
Doctors at the hospital said they had discharged the patients on the basis of the negative report and the government’s guidelines to discharge those who don’t show any Covid-19 symptom for three days, 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
The doctors said all the workers have now been brought back to the hospital. Their samples were collected again on Monday and have tested positive, a doctor said.
Families of some workers have alleged that the doctors called them to the hospital, saying they needed to get an X-ray done and did not disclose the positive report.
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