Chennai

Coronavirus | Asymptomatic patients forcibly taken to care centres, complain Chennai residents

Lending a hand: Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash at the COVID-19 tele-counselling centre in Ripon Buildings.

Lending a hand: Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash at the COVID-19 tele-counselling centre in Ripon Buildings.  

‘Corporation doctors refuse to permit home isolation despite recommendation’

Residents have complained to the Greater Chennai Corporation that its doctors have been forcing asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, already under home isolation, to go into institutional quarantine.

According to officials of the Corporation, over 4,000 residents were getting tested at private laboratories every day in the 15 zones of the city.

Many of those who tested positive were advised home isolation by their family physicians.

Against medical advice

Even after senior officials of the Corporation stressed the need for home isolation of asymptomatic cases, many Corporation doctors refused to permit it, against the advice of family doctors, who had been treating the patients.

Residents said Corporation workers visited homes of patients and asked them to visit Corporation camps for another round of testing.

“After I visited a camp in Valasaravakkam, the doctor said I will be taken to a hospital. Even after my doctor explained that I was already being treated while in home isolation, the official refused to let me be. They did not tell me the name of the hospital,” a resident of Nesapakkam said.

“Residents have requested officials to be transparent about the details of government hospitals or COVID-19 Care Centres they will be taken to. We want support from officials during home isolation. But we request senior officials to advise Corporation doctors not to be arrogant in their behaviour with residents who may be scared of institutional quarantine. Deaths of residents under institutional quarantine has created a scare,” a resident said.

Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the civic body has created tele-counselling facilities to help residents who are worried about COVID-19.

Toll-free helpline

“Residents are requested to call 044-25384520 or 044-46122300 for any queries relating to COVID-19. We have received 2.77 lakh calls from residents during the pandemic. We will offer psycho-social support to people during the pandemic. Many residents who tested positive received support from psychologists to overcome suicidal tendencies. Thousands of residents have received assistance,” Mr. Prakash said.

Following the complaints, a few tweeted about the improved facilities in the Corporation’s COVID-19 Care Centres. A COVID-19 positive patient tweeted, “Thanks to GCC. I was discharged from COVID-19 Care Centre, St. Joseph College, OMR. Very good care was taken for ten days. Thanks to all the hospitality service people and doctors at centre.”

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 11:24:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/coronavirus-asymptomatic-patients-forcibly-taken-to-care-centres-complain-chennai-residents/article31958151.ece

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