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Pune doctor charges govt of SARS fraud

The doctor who treated first SARS patient charged state officials with giving out pollution masks, instead of clinical ones to the hospital.

india Updated: May 02, 2003 12:40 IST

A doctor at the local Siddarth hospital, who treated the first SARS patient in Maharashtra, on Thursday charged the state health authorities with providing pollution masks instead of clinical masks to the hospital.

Dr Anand Kenj, who treated Stanley D'silva, said, "The masks are so bad that one cannot wear it more than half-an-hour".

"The masks are devoid of filter which is used to separate the micro-organism from entering into the lungs. Hence, we have returned the same", Kenj said, adding wearing of such masks makes the quarantined person suffocate.

Siddarth hospital chief Dr Vijay Setia accused the authorities of delaying shifting of three SARS positive patients of D'silva family to Naidu Hospital of Infectious Diseases, which he claims led to infection of his staff.

"There was a delay of 35 hours in shifting these positive declared persons from my hospital to the special ward at the Naidu Hospital", Setia said.

"During the 35 hours, N-95 masks or any Zed Kits to be used as per WHO norms, were not made available by the government and health department to me, my staff and in-house patients and doctors. This has led to at least nine of my staff members testing positive", he added.

Setia said authorities should immediately provide the Hospital with masks and Zed kits for protection of those who tested negative, those whose reports were awaited and all those people who bring the daily needed things to the hospital.

He also demanded shifting of in-house patients to other hospitals.

"I am short of nursing staff as nine of them have been found positive till yesterday and the reports of others are awaited. We will find it very difficult to manage these patients for next five to six days," he added.

He demanded immediate transfer of nine positive persons to special isolation wards made available by the government.

First Published: May 02, 2003 00:00 IST