Bengal man dies day after Covid-19 negative result
A health department official, who did not want to be named, said all members of the family would now be tested for coronavirus.Updated: Apr 30, 2020 00:53 IST
A 70-year-old man died of Covid-19 on Tuesday, a day after he was readmitted to a hospital in West Bengal when it as found that he had been discharged on Sunday after having wrongly been declared to have tested negative for the infection, his son said on Wednesday. The son said the gross negligence has endangered their family, including a seven-month-old child, as they spent time with him after he was discharged from Kolkata’s designated Covid-19 M R Bangur Hospital.
A health department official, who did not want to be named, said all members of the family would now be tested for coronavirus.
“It was a human error. The report came positive but got wrongly listed as negative,” said a doctor at the hospital, who did not want to be identified.
West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha, state health services director Ajay Chakraborty and health secretary Vivek Kumar did not respond to questions about the alleged negligence and whether an inquiry had been initiated.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday admitted to “minor clerical mistakes” and added they should not be highlighted. She did not mention the Bangur Hospital or the alleged negligence.
The son said his father was admitted to the hospital on April 22 as he complained of dry cough. “On April 25, I received a call from the hospital at night, saying my father has tested negative and would be released. He was discharged on the morning of April 26 and the discharge certificate had ‘Covid-19 negative’ written on it. However, that very night, hospital authorities telephoned me again, this time to say that there had been a mistake and he was actually [Covid-19] positive. They asked me to bring him back to the hospital,” said the son.
The man was readmitted to the hospital on April 27 and died the next day.
“Who is responsible for this mistake? They killed my father. Also, what if my children now test positive? My father spent time with them after coming back home. My mother is 63. They are all vulnerable,” said the son.
Banerjee said there could be some errors and must be forgiven for the time being. “People are not making mistakes deliberately. This is a new task and a new initiative. Some minor mistakes may happen,” she said without naming the hospital or the patient.
“How can you expect that each and every health worker will be totally trained in this short span of time? They can also make mistakes. They can make errors in what they write. There can be a minor error in a notice; a printing mistake. Some are trying to malign the government... All these health workers need at this hour is some appreciation.”