First Covid-19 case in Patiala: Docs remain in cars as paramedics carry out survey, explanation sought

Updated on Mar 31, 2020 12:22 AM IST
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By, Patiala

Six medical officers, including the Patiala district vaccination officer, have been reprimanded for poor display of emergency duties at Ram Nagar Sainia village in Ghanuar block, around 25km from the district headquarters, where a 21-year-old was tested positive for Covid-19.

Six doctors of the frontline medical team, which was to conduct door-to-door survey at the village remained seated in their respective cars with protective gears on, while the paramedical staff was put on the job.

Taking strict note of this negligence, Patiala civil surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra has sought a written explanation of these doctors before writing to principal secretary health for their suspension under the Disaster Management Act.

The doctors have been identified as district vaccination officer Dr Sudha Grover, senior medical officer and in-charge of Ghanaur civil hospital Dr Satinder Kaur, and medical officers Dr Baljinder Kahlon, Dr Pradeep, Dr Neeru Chawla and Dr Mandeep Kaur.

“It’s an internal matter and strict warning has been issued to the six doctors,” he said.

Dr Malhotra said that he has received their written responses and is scrutinising them before initiating further action.

“At the time when senior officers of civil, police and health administrations were present on the spot, the deployed medical team violated the guidelines issued by Indian Council of Medical Research while dealing with Covid-19 situations,” Dr Malhotra said.

In a written communiqué to the six doctors, the civil surgeon said the doctors deployed at Ram Nagar Sainia village had poorly displayed public duty on a sensitive issue and at a sensitive spot, causing embarrassment to the department.

“They displayed poor leadership skills as they didn’t even bother to step out of their cars and instead put the paramedical staff on job to complete the survey,” the communiqué said.

It stated that the medical staff unnecessarily wore surgical gowns and wasted personal protective equipment as the ICMR has clearly mentioned that the usage guidelines.

Dr Malhotra said such negligent and irresponsible approach cannot be tolerated and punitive action will be initiated in near future.

The 21-year-old, who is the first patient of Patiala district, has been admitted in Ambala’s civil hospital after he confirmed positive for coronavirus.

However, test reports of 14 people he came in contact with, including his family members, were found be negative for the virus. Presently, all 14 are admitted in the isolation ward of Government Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. The district police have sealed all entry and exit point of Ram Nagar village to stop further spread of the virus.

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