This had impact on IMS and SUM Hospital, a private hospital as a number of its doctors share the same housing complex where the patient stayed before testing positive.

Published: 21st March 2020 10:41 AM  |  

AIIMS Bhubaneswar, AIIMS


Controversy brewed at AIIMS Bhuabaneshwar with letters doing round accusing the Medical Superintendent of breaking quarantine protocol after his 19 year old son, who had recently returned from the UK tested positive for coronavirus.

Close on the heels of a similar incident in Kolkata where a bureaucrat, whose son tested positive recently, had attended office leading to intensified safety protocol by West Bengal Government, the AIIMS officer took his son to the medical institution without following the necessary safeguards. He had not registered on the online portal of the State Government either.

In a memorandum to AIIMS Director, the RDA termed it a gross negligence on the part of the functionary to conceal his son’s travel history. “It was both medical and administrative negligence. The patient was not admitted for 12 hours and the in-charge of isolation ward hid it citing it a high profile case,” the association alleged.

Further the memorandum accused the isolation unit in-charge of improper handling of the situation, stating that the son was initially kept in a doctor’s room. After the boy tested positive, the authorities said they have traced 43 out of the 46 people that the patient had come into contact with, the MS of AIIMS who is alsoBthe nodal officer of nCovid-19 for AIIMS Bhubaneswar. Asked about alleged resentment among a section of resident doctors at AIIMS over the senior official’s son mingling with others, the spokesperson said, “The state government has given highest priority to this issue. We are reviewing the situation.”

The 19-year-old, a student, is second from the State to be tested positive for COVID-19. He had recently returned from Edinburgh. The functionary said his son reached Bhubaneswar on Wednesday evening. His samples were collected and sent to the Regional Medical Research Centre on Thursday after he developed symptoms of fever and sore throat.

What pressed the panic button is that the teenager stayed in the housing complex, home to several doctors, before being tested positive and his doctor-father, who was nodal officer of the AIIMS for coronavirus, attended meeting in the presence of some senior officers of the State Government.

While the patient has been admitted to the isolation ward at AIIMS and his condition is stated to be stable, all his family members, father’s driver, peon and other associated staff have been kept under quarantine.
Chief spokesperson of the State Government on COVID-19 Subroto Bagchi said 46 contacts of the patient have been identified of which 43 have been traced so far. “Eight teams have been engaged to trace three others,” he said.

Bagchi said the State Government is dealing with the AIIMS incident on priority and it is being reviewed at the highest level. All affected in the incident are under observation, he added.However, AIIMS doctors were outraged  and accused the functionary of hiding travel history of his son. The Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) demanded action and sought permission for home quarantine of some doctors who feared to have come in contact with the father-son duo.

A senior resident of the institute, who initially attended the patient, levelled charges of compromise in the quarantine protocol. He said with symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI), the student was kept in the doctor’s duty room in the isolation ward.

“Ironically, none of us posted in the COVID OPD was aware of the suspect as the case file was kept hidden. I am worried about my health and my family as I am a low-risk contact. I should be allowed home quarantine as I may be a source of transmission to others at the workplace,” he said.

Director Dr Gitanjali Batmanabane refused to comment on whether the patient is related to any functionary of the institute. She said: “All measures are being taken as per the directive issued by the Government. All his contacts have been identified. We have decided to reduce the number of surgeries and undertake only those that are very essential.”

This had impact on IMS and SUM Hospital, a private hospital as a number of its doctors share the same housing complex where the patient stayed before testing positive. The hospital management asked its doctors to go on home quarantine for 14 days.