Health dept wakes up from slumber, shifts four ventilators to CMCH

Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByHT Correspondent, Ludhiana
Mar 31, 2020 11:11 PM IST

These ventilators will be used for treatment of coronavirus patients

It took one death to wake up the health department from deep slumber.

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Drawing flak for its lax response which ‘resulted’ in the death of a Covid-19 patient, the health department on Tuesday dispatched four ventilators to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) that were gathering dust at the civil hospital for over a year.

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These ventilators will be used for treatment of such patients, said civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Bagga.

Technical staff to operate these ventilators will also be sent by the health department, he added.

The revelation that the 42-year-old woman — who happens to be the first Covid-19 casualty of Ludhiana — visited the civil hospital multiple times and was referred to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala at the eleventh hour due to the non-availability of ventilator has laid bare the tall claims of health authorities.

Till now, the health department was claiming that tests of all suspected patients were being conducted and it was fully equipped to treat Covid-19 patients. However, the reality turned out to be different.

The 42-year-old woman kept shuttling from one hospital to another. Not only she was ‘denied’ treatment, she also spread virus in the medical facilities as well.

“The ordeal did not end there. The civil hospital referred the case to Patiala at 6pm. We kept on dialling 108, but no ambulance arrived. We eventually hired a private ambulance for 4,000 to ferry the patient to Rajindra Hospital,” claimed Sukhwinder Singh, brother-in-law of the deceased.

“Forget tests, the civil hospital didn’t even have an infrared thermometer to check temperature of patients reporting at its flu corner,” he added.

On asking civil surgeon Dr Bagga about the allegations, he said there was an acute shortage of infrared thermometers in the market.

“As soon as the thermometers are available, those would be provided to the doctors,” he added.

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