Last updated on: August 4, 2020 at 11:39 pm IST
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 4: The Dimapur Ao Youth Organization (DAYO) has raised some hard-hitting questions over the (mis)handling of COVID-19 patients in Dimapur following the death of two persons (among others) due to COVID-19 without being tested despite requests and without receiving any medical aid.
In an open letter to the Commissioner & Secretary, State Health & Family Welfare Department, DAYO highlighted the case of a 38-year-old woman from Aoyimti, who was made to knock at the doors of 4 different hospitals until she arrived at Eden Hospital, who on seeing her condition, provided her an ambulance along with oxygen and advised her to get tested in the District COVID Hospital.
“On arrival at the COVID Hospital, they were questioned whether the patient had any direct contact with any other COVID-19 patients, and as the reply was negative admission was refused. Instead, they were asked to procure a letter from the CMO to get tested at PHC, Chumoukedima. After the test, the relatives were asked to go back to the COVID Hospital and collect the report from the Flu counter. By this time, the oxygen tank exhausted and there was no replacement. As they hurried back to the COVID Hospital, the test result was yet to arrive and while waiting for almost an hour she passed away in the ambulance. So the deceased was taken to her home at Aoyimti and only by evening the result was declared as COVID positive. The DAYO alleged that the CMO report washed off an integral aspect of the horrific ordeal. “These events are narrated, as the concocted information given in the CMO report, have washed off an integral aspect of the horrific ordeal,” it stated.
In regards to the other case, DAYO said a man (name withheld) was recommended for COVID sample testing by doctors of a nursing home where he was previously admitted. The authority in the District COVID Hospital asked him for a referral letter so the family went back to get the letter. “After completing all formalities they were instead asked to come back only if there was no improvement. The next day as his health deteriorated he was taken to Eden for the emergency check-up and subsequently was taken to the District CCOVID Hospital for sample-test, which was denied the previous day, and by that time he had passed away.”
Stating that these two case studies from among other citizens who had succumbed to the dreaded disease without receiving any medical aid raises many probing questions, DAYO said such introspection is needed so that that no further unfortunate and preventable deaths occur to any citizens of Nagaland from now on.
“Is the present SOP for admission in the COVID Hospital not practicable and complicated for any ordinary citizens to avail emergency COVID care? With patients showing different symptoms and fighting for their lives, what is expected of tensed and shocked relatives to bring this and that documents and requirements? Why patients are sent outside the COVID Hospitals for testing when the patients need immediate medical assistance? Is it just simple co-incidences that most suspect dead patients are tested positive? How far is the Truenat machine reliable? How long does it take for the BS 2/3 to make the confirmation? Since the death of the aforesaid man on the July 31 till the drafting of this letter No. BS 2/3 result have arrived on August 4 evening for final confirmation of COVID. For relatives, who have been in close contact with man and are now under home quarantine, why is it so that no sample test has been undertaken?” it asked.
Questioning the distinction between local community transmission and community transmission in the context of Nagaland, DAYO maintained that for ordinary citizens community spread is when new COVID cases are rampantly detected other than from returnees in the quarantine centres. “If this is refuted then the frontlines were not following proper SOPs and have led to the spread outside QCs.”
Maintaining that Nagaland is now at a stage where unless anyone is tested nobody can say that they are corona-free, DAYO insisted that time has come for random testing as in other states. It is high time that all hospitals and healthcare units, be it Government or private, function in unison as a comprehensive and cohesive team. In treating patients every second counts, so in order to save time and make prompt response, uninterrupted high speed internet facilities between hospitals should so be connected and activated for interactive communication and to send reports via emails, it said.
Seeking immediate response and corrective measures from the Commissioner & Secretary so that the plight of the common people is addressed immediately on war-footing, DAYO said it only hopes that the allocated funds to combat the pandemic are judiciously utilized.
“By all estimates, whatever Nagaland had spent in bringing the returnees back home, a bulk was allotted to Dimapur because of the large number of returnees from the other district. The Naga public also is aware that keeping returnees in institutional quarantine, most of the cost were borne by many voluntary organizations. Therefore, as Dimapur citizens we demand a transparent public disclosure of how funds are being managed in Dimapur district,” it demanded.
(Page News Service)