Woman dying at hospital reveals 19 more cases

Artists painting awareness messages on coronavirus at Tirumalagiri X Road in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Artists painting awareness messages on coronavirus at Tirumalagiri X Road in Hyderabad on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

Two healthcare professionals and 17 of her family members in contact with her test positive for COVID-19

In what can be called a textbook case of the spread of COVID-19, a patient’s uninformed decision to visit a private hospital for treatment has resulted not only in her death, but also the infection spreading to 19 more persons.

Index case in this instance was an aged matriarch of a family residing in Talabkatta (or Talab Chanchalam) area of Santhosh Nagar Circle, which has been declared as containment zone now. Ailing from several other co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and kidney problem for long, she developed bronchial infection recently, and went to a private hospital in Purani Haveli area for treatment.

The doctors at the private hospital too failed to alert the authorities about the severity of the case, despite being aware of the current situation and the rampant spread of COVID-19 in the city. Their treatment could not save the woman, and she breathed her last on last Friday. Swabs collected after death were sent for diagnosis, and tested positive, sending the authorities into a tizzy.

A total of 41 persons who came into contact with her were sent for tests, and the area around her residence was declared as containment zone. Of the total, 37 were her immediate family, who were residing within half a kilometre radius of her dwelling. “As she had been ailing for long, they kept visiting her at home, thereby contracting the virus. Of all the samples, a total of 17 tested positive, and have been sent to Gandhi Hospital. They all were her family members which included children,” an official informed on the condition of anonymity.

That was not the end of the spread though. Two of the health care professionals who had attended to her at the private hospital too tested positive on Thursday, the official informed. Source of infection for the deceased person is not yet clear, and it is assumed that she might have contracted it from a Nizamuddin Markaz returnee from Delhi.

While Minister for Health Eatala Rajender made a passing mention of the infection during his press conference, he stopped short of saying that the index patient in this instance had been treated at a private hospital. The government is yet to announce any action against the hospital for failing to alert the authorities. Earlier too, there were more than one instance of COVID-19 patients dying after getting treated at private hospitals.

Meanwhile, a statement from GHMC informed that a total of 25 persons were freshly diagnosed with coronavirus infection on Thursday. Officials under the condition of anonymity say that the number is close to 30. Several of the new cases are from the existing containment zones, while a couple of zones have been freshly created pertaining to cases from other areas, officials said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 7:46:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/woman-dying-at-private-hospital-unravels-19-cases/article31358946.ece

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