Following 10 days of treatment for fever at CHC Ghuma and after being denied medical attention at Sola Civil, 48-year-old Bopal resident gets himself admitted to SVP hospital; DDO issues notices to RMO at Sola Civil, officer in charge at Sola, apart from TB physician and nodal officer in Ghuma

| Megha Bhatt and Niyati Rana |

An alleged lapse and inordinate delay on part of a Community Health Centre (CHC) in Ghuma and Sola Civil Hospital of not taking seriously a patient displaying Covid-19 symptoms may have created untold suffering to an entire society in Bopal and whoever the patient came in touch with.

The 48-year-old patient voluntarily got himself admitted to SVP hospital on Saturday after thrice visiting the Ghuma CHC since March 31 for fever. He tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. When the patient’s family had approached Sola Civil earlier on April 10, they were told that it is Good Friday, so he cannot be admitted.

The patient lives with his wife and son who is a first year engineering student in Bopal. His 47-year-old wife who is a homemaker told Mirror, “He was suffering from fever since March 29. He visited the CHC two days later as there were no private doctors available. They did not ask him to get a Covid-19 test done, nor did they refer him to Sola Civil. There was a serious lapse in the treatment. The fever never abated. So, I asked my husband to get himself tested for malaria, though the CHC did not suggest any tests. The report was negative.” Initially, the patient was prescribed medicines for three days. After the malaria test was negative, the medicines were changed. “He visited the CHC for the third time and the doctor again gave him a fresh prescription. This left me worried,” his wife said.

The patient asked the CHC doctor to write a note of reference to Sola Civil so that no one stops him during the lockdown while visiting the hospital. “Finally, on April 10 the CHC doctor referred him to Sola Civil. However, when we visited the hospital on the same day, we were told that it was Good Friday, so after an initial screening we were told we cannot be admitted.”

Since his condition started deteriorating, his wife called up108 Emergency Service and he was admitted to SVP hospital on Saturday. He tested positive for Covid-19 the next day.

His wife, son test negative

Subsequently, his wife and son (17) were taken to SVP for check-up, but they have tested negative. Furious over the CHC’s lapses, his wife said, “The negligence of the CHC is severe. They have not followed government guidelines. He was following lockdown rules and the only time he stepped out was to buy medicines or grocery.”

The man works in a factory near Narol. “He may have contracted through his coworkers before the lockdown. The incubation period is between 10-14 days,” a source who knew him said.

Bopal-Ghuma Nagarpalika President Jigisha Shah said, “After the man tested positive, we immediately sanitised the society where he resides. We have blocked the complex and people of the society have been advised not to step out of their homes. We have also sanitised the nearby roads and Bopal-Ghuma area.”

The neighbours and the people he came in contact with in the area, including his wife and son have tested negative, Shah said. “It is very irresponsible on part of Ghuma CHC not to recommend him to Sola Civil. This is a pandemic and such negligence cannot be taken lightly. I believe strict action has to be taken. The patient was having fever for the last 10-11 days. The diagnosis should have been done earlier. Ghuma CHC superintendent should be suspended,” the Bopal-Ghuma Nagarpalika president said.

Chief District Health Officer and Regional Deputy Director, Ahmedabad region, Dr Satish Makwana said, “We are looking into the matter. Strict action will be taken if anyone is found guilty.”

An official in the Collector’s office said that they realised that there have been several lapses in the system after they spoke to the patient admitted to SPV hospital.

“We came to know that this man visited Sola Civil Hospital after he was referred to by the CHC. He was told he had no issues and should go home,” said an official requesting anonymity.

According to those in the know of the development, this man also had to stand in queue when he visited the hospital. “Imagine, how many people may have come in his contact. The lapse on part of the hospital might have put many lives at risk,” he said.

District Development Officer (DDO) Arun Mahesh Babu told Mirror that duty lapses were found in the case. “When the patient went to Sola Civil, the chest physician told him that he had no health issues. His sample was not collected and he was sent home. On our recommendation, notice has been issued to the RMO at Sola Civil (Kiran Goswami), officer in charge at Sola, apart from TB physician and nodal officer in Ghuma.”

No entry of patient in register: Sola Civil

Dr Pina Soni, who took charge as Medical Superintendent of GMERS Sola Civil hospital on Tuesday, said, “There is no entry of the patient in the register with the in-charge nodal officer on that date. The patient didn’t meet the concerned doctor. There is no question of the patient being not tested with symptoms in this case.”

Meanwhile, Babu said that they have decided to start fresh surveillance in Bopal, Ghuma, Shela, Sanand and Daskroi taluka. “There are around 50,000 people in these villages. This new patient, resident of Bopal, may have met many people. Just as a precautionary measure, we will start testing and sample collection in these villages to avoid further spread of COVID19,” he said.

Patient tested positive for Covid-19 at SVP last Sunday

We are looking into the matter. Strict action will be taken if anyone is found guilty

Dr Satish Makwana , Chief District Health Officer and Regional Deputy Director, Ahmedabad region

After the man tested positive, we sanitised his society. We have blocked the complex and people of the society have been advised not to step out

Jigisha Shah, Bopal-