Puri: It took over 12 hours to shift an elderly COVID-19 patient from Puri district headquarters hospital (DHH) to COVID-19 hospital located just 300 metres away from the DHH.
The above incident reported Wednesday evening has exposed the tall claims of the district administration about the COVID-19 management to be hollow.
An 82-year-old resident of Bhudan area in Puri complained of uneasiness Tuesday. Family members immediately rushed him to Puri DHH.
His COVID report came out to be positive Wednesday morning. The patient’s wife and son then asked health workers to shift him to COVID-19 hospital. To their utter dismay, the health workers took the case casually and said that the ambulance of the COVID hospital had been contacted and they would shift the patient when the ambulance arrived.
Fortunately, a local social activist Swadhin Kumar Panda had visited the hospital owing to personal work Wednesday afternoon and came to know all about the incident. He asked the health workers about the reason for the inordinate delay but did not get any satisfactory answer from them.
Panda himself called up the ambulance. The ambulance arrived only in the evening when there was no staff to shift the patient. The driver also refused to help them with shifting the patient.
With no way out, Swadhin, without a PPE kit, carried the patient to the ambulance.
When asked why he did so, Swadhin answered that none of the hospital staff nor did even the driver help the family in shifting the patient. “Realising it that the longer the patient would stay at the DHH the more would be the possibility of other patients contracting the virus. So without losing any further time in arranging PPE kit, I took him to the ambulance and helped him with sitting in it,” he said.
When contacted, CDMO Dr Sujata Mishra termed the incident as pathetic. “The ADMO has been asked to file a detail report on why it took so much time in shifting a COVID patient to the COVID hospital. Once the report is received, the guilty will be punished,” she added.