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‘Spooked by photographer’, coronavirus suspect patient in Punjab flees without giving samples, returns later

Dr Naresh Kumar, epidemiologist, Civil Hospital, Moga, said that the patient, who is from a Moga village, had returned from Dubai on Tuesday and developed a cough and cold.

Written by Divya Goyal | Chandigarh | Updated: March 5, 2020 8:52:52 am
coronavirus india, coronavirus deaths india, coronavirus patients india, indian cases coronavirus, covid 19, latest news, indian express The patient left without giving samples for testing, prompting the Moga Civil Surgeon to write to police to trace him (Representational image/PTI)

Dramatic scenes were witnessed at the Civil Hospital in Moga Wednesday after a suspected coronavirus patient came for a check-up, but left without giving samples for testing, prompting the Moga Civil Surgeon to write to police to trace him.

Hours later, the 32-year-old patient returned to hospital and gave samples for testing. He has been kept in isolation and is stable, said doctors.

Dr Naresh Kumar, epidemiologist, Civil Hospital, Moga, said that the patient, who is from a Moga village, had returned from Dubai on Tuesday and developed a cough and cold.

“He came to hospital for a check-up and was taken to a flu corner set up for suspected coronavirus patients as per government orders. However, the media soon reached the spot and one of the photographers started taking his photographs, due to which he panicked and left without giving samples or informing anyone,” he added.

Moga civil surgeon Dr Andesh Kang then wrote to DSP Badhni Kalan, asking police to “trace the patient as soon as possible”. However, since the patient had provided his contact number and address, the doctors also called him and managed to convince him to return and give samples for testing. Meanwhile, Moga police had already rushed a three-member police party to the patient’s village after receiving the letter from the civil surgeon, where his family told police that he had gone for a routine check-up.

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The man returned home and then went back after doctors called him again. Sub-Inspector Navpreet Singh, SHO, Badhni Kalan police station, said, “We had reached his village to counsel him and take him to hospital but he had himself returned after receiving a call from the hospital.”

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