Turned away by Kasturba for no travel history, man tests positiveUpdated: Mar 23, 2020 00:28 IST
A 45-year-old man who was turned away by the civic-run Kasturba Hospital for not having a travel history tested positive for Sars-Cov-2 at a private hospital, underlining the need for more testing and quicker identification.
Currently, the nodal Covid-19 diagnostic centre in Mumbai – Kasturba Hospital – is running tests only on suspected patients with travel history or who have come in direct contact with any infected patient. The patient reached the centre after he developed flu-like symptoms – cold, fever and runny nose. But as he didn’t have any travel history, doctors at the hospital turned him away with antibiotics for seasonal influenza.
Concerned about his health, he then went to Saifee Hospital in Charni Road, where he was admitted. Doctors collected his swab samples and sent it to Kasturba Hospital on Friday, which confirmed the presence Sars-Cov-2.
“We were confused about his symptoms as he didn’t have any travel history and didn’t know anyone who was diagnosed with Covid-19. But just for reassurance, we sent his sample for testing and the result shocked us,” said a senior doctor from the hospital. On Saturday night, the patient was referred back to Kasturba Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment at an isolation ward.
When HT asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) about the case, Dr Daksha Shah, deputy health officer, said, “Maybe the patient was asymptomatic (when a person doesn’t show any symptoms) when he approached the hospital, so he wasn’t admitted for testing.”
With the rising number of cases, medical experts are raising the need to run more tests to curb the spread of community-based transmission. Dr Anant Bhan,
researcher in global health and policy, said, “Mumbai houses two crore people and so far we are running only 200 tests every day. Countries like South Korea did more than 10,000 tests per day.”