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Another death, more questions

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DIMAPUR, JULY 31: Another death of a person in Dimapur on Friday, who tested positive for COVID-19 through TruNat, has raised several questions about the functioning of the Dimapur COVID Hospital, which is supposed to collect samples and conduct tests for COVID on any person suspected to have symptoms of the virus.
According to reliable sources, the 40-year old male patient, who died today, was reportedly sent back from Dimapur COVID Hospital without his samples being taken for COVID test, even though he possessed a referral letter from the doctor of a private nursing home, where he had first gone for treatment.
The doctor of the nursing home had written the details of the patient’s history including all signs and symptoms, but he was not evaluated at the Flu Corner of the Dimapur COVID Hospital and sent back without any tests, sources said.
Sources informed that the said person was taken to another private hospital, but he was declared “brought dead” on arrival. After his death, a TrueNat test returned positive for COVID.
The news of his death was immediately circulated on social media, including a lot of fake news thereof.
According to Dr Lanusüngkum Jamir of Fellowship Nursing Home, the said patient was admitted to the Nursing Home on July 28 after screening and after he replied in the negative to all the questions in the in-house COVID checklist except for fever and weakness.
On July 29, Dr Lanusüngkum noticed that the patient was coughing and was in respiratory distress and exhibited all other signs of COVID, which were not revealed during the screening. Suspecting the worse, the patient was promptly referred to the Flu Corner at Dimapur COVID Hospital, and not for ‘Home Quarantine’ as falsely claimed on social media, Dr Lanu stated.
On July 30 morning, the patient’s sister came to the hospital again, requesting for a referral letter as the discharge form was not accepted, to which Dr Lanusüngkum obliged and wrote in details his history including all signs and symptoms.
Reliable sources informed that the patient was taken to Eden Medical Centre today, but was declared ‘brought dead’ before being admitted in the hospital.
Sources said the Medical Officer at Eden Medical Centre saw the patient in the vehicle itself and that he was unconscious and no vital parameters were recordable, therefore, the patient was not admitted to the hospital, and declared ‘brought dead’ based on clinical findings. This belies the fake news on social media that the patient was admitted to Eden Medical Centre.
When Dimapur COVID Hospital was informed about the demise of the patient, a medical team visited and took samples of the departed for testing at his residence, as his mortal remains were directly brought home at Duncan from the vehicle parking of Eden Medical Centre, after he was declared “death on arrival” (DOA). The TruNat test later returned positive for COVID.
This is one instance among the many cases of people who had gone to Dimapur COVID Hospital for giving samples for COVID tests having been turned down. Last week family members of a COVID positive person from the Netaji Colony, Dimapur, were also reportedly turned down and sent back without any tests, despite them informing the officials that the family members had fever.
The employee of Zinyu Gas Agency, who passed away on July 25 last, had also gone to Dimapur COVID Hospital but was refused admission or tests despite his condition being serious. His COVID test was done after his demise, which returned positive. His RT-PCR test results are still awaited.
These series of cases pose serious question about the credibility and responsibilities of Medical Officers on COVID Duty at the Dimapur COVID Hospital, who appear to ignore patients during this pandemic. It also raises questions whether the lives of those patients could have been saved if their tests were done on time and admitted accordingly in hospitals.
The public has the right to know why people with symptoms on their own volition and those referred by Doctors, whether Government or private, for tests, are not being tested by the Dimapur COVID Hospital. Medical Officers on COVID Duty at the Dimapur COVID Hospital and by extension, the state Health authorities, need to come up-front and respond to reported cases of deaths that are turning out positive after it is too late.
(Page News Service)