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Home / Chandigarh / Chaos at Nehru Rose Garden Covid-Care Centre, Ludhiana doctors flag issue

Chaos at Nehru Rose Garden Covid-Care Centre, Ludhiana doctors flag issue

Caregivers alleged that patients, most of whom were asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, were asked to stand in queue for medical check-up and to procure a certificate for home isolation

chandigarh Updated: Jul 29, 2020 23:09 IST
Mohit Khanna
Mohit Khanna
Hindustan Times/Ludhiana
As per the protocol, a patient has to report for check- up at a Covid Care Centre with a care giver after testing positive.
As per the protocol, a patient has to report for check- up at a Covid Care Centre with a care giver after testing positive. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Government guidelines are adding to harassment of Covid-19 patients in Ludhiana.

Instead of employing an effective mechanism to isolate and treat infected patients, the health department has asked them to report to the Covid-Care Centre (CCC) at Government Meritorious School near Nehru Rose Garden, say patients.

The move is resulting in widespread chaos and has left patients and their caregivers fuming. It has also increased the risk of the virus spreading.

The health department’s staff doctors at care centre have also complained about the chaos and have asked authorities to take measures to reduce the number of people visiting the area.

Caregivers alleged that patients, most of whom were asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, were asked to stand in queue for medical check-up and to procure a certificate for home isolation.

The ordeal does not end there as the caregivers and are then asked to wait for approval, which is signed by the agriculture development officer (ADO).

Sometimes the approval takes over a day to come through. In such as case, the patient is kept at the Centre, patients’ relatives alleged.

‘CUMBERSOME PROCESS’

A patient’s friend, who did not wish to be named, said, “My friend gave his samples for testing on Wednesday and the reports arrived on Friday. The reports were sent over WhatsApp, following which my friend started receiving calls to get registered at care centre at 5pm.”

“The centre was crowded but he managed to get himself tested. However, he was told that till the time, the health department does not receive an approval from the ADO. He was asked to stay at the isolation ward of the hospital. My friend got scared and left in his car. The next day I went to the centre and was shocked to see the crowd. Both patients and caregivers were standing in the same queue and asymptotic patients were roaming in the hostel as if they were strolling in a park,” he said.

A man whose father tested positive for Covid-19 said the cumbersome process of applying for home isolation was leading to the spread of infection.

“My father tested positive on July 21. Since he is over 60 years old and had fever, our family decided to keep him under home isolation. However, at the centre, patients and caregivers were jostling to get themselves registered. Social distancing norms were not followed. Many old patients suffering from fever and weakness were helplessly waiting for their turn. We had to seek a local politicians help,” he said.

On the other hand, Dr Govind Ram, senior medical officer (SMO) at the COVID-care centre said they had flagged the issue.

“We are working under tremendous pressure. As per the protocol, positive patients are asked to report at the isolation ward for a medical check-up and care givers are told to stand separately. But caregivers also stand in the queue along with Covid-19 patients. This increases the risk of the virus spreading,” the SMO said.

“We keep telling patients to maintain distance but our requests fall on deaf ears. We have brought the matter to the notice of authorities,” said Ram.

PATIENTS ARRIVE IN AUTOS

When asked why patient arrive in auto rickshaws and other modes of transport, the SMO said the rapid response ambulance can ferry one patient and till the time the formalities are not completed the ambulance cannot leave. “So in certain cases, patients were seen visiting the centre in public transport vehicles.”

Civil surgeon (CS) Dr Rajesh Bagga said orders in this regards had already been issued.

“The problem occurs while jotting down the online details of patients. We have observed that increasing the number of computers will not solve the purpose. So it has been decided to call the patient in different time slots to end the chaos at the centre,” Bagga said.

THE PROTOCOL

As per the protocol, a patient has to report for check- up at a Covid Care Centre with a care giver after testing positive. The patient can apply for home isolation or admission to a government or private facility. The process of home isolation is initiated after the patient is found asymptomatic during the medical check-up.

For home admission, the patient has to fill a form wherein the patient mentions the name of a caregiver and the address of the house where he wishes to remain isolated. Thereafter, the form is forwarded to the agriculture development officer (ADO) concerned, who visits the location and following his/her approval the patient is allowed to stay at home.

Besides the health department initiates the prophylactic treatment of rest of the family members and caregivers who have tested negative.

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