A day after a 3-day-old infant died soon after he underwent a COVID-19 swab collection procedure at the state-run Govid Ballabh Panth (GBP) Hospital in Agartala, the government has ordered a departmental enquiry and asked for the report within three days.
The child’s family has blamed doctors for the death and claimed he was healthy till the swab samples were collected from his nostrils. The child’s mother, Papiya Pal Saha, had tested positive for COVID-19, necessitating a sample collection from the infant.
Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, Tripura Health Director Subhashish Debbarma said, “A departmental enquiry will be held on the issue. A three-member team has been formed for this. The report will be submitted to us in the next three days”.
Asked if the child’s COVID test results had arrived, Debbarma said he wasn’t aware of the reports, but confirmed that the sample had been collected since his mother tested positive.
A relative of Papiya Pal Saha said both the mother and the child had been doing well till the COVID sample was collected.
“Both of them were fine, under observation since the baby was born on Monday. Even after both were shifted to the COVID ward, we were told that the baby was smiling and doing fine. Soon after, we received another call saying he was bleeding from his nose after a COVID-19 test sample was collected. He died after some time.”
Pal Saha reiterated that her son started bleeding from the nose after a swab sample collection kit was inserted in his nose.
“I informed the doctors on duty after my son’s health deteriorated. They assured me that he would be alright, but my child died in front of me around noon,” she said.
Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh dismissed the allegations of the family and said the infant’s death was not related to the sample procedures. However, he maintained that autopsy reports are awaited for final findings on the issue.
Earlier on August 2, a two-day-old girl succumbed to coronavirus at GBP Hospital, making her the youngest COVID fatality so far in Tripura.
According to the latest reports, 44 people have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tripura, while 3,751 others are under medical surveillance, including home and institutional quarantine.