Fresh out of China: Hunt underway for possible coronavirus patient in India after he was ‘told to go home’ at TWO hospitals
Medics in the central Indian state of Gwalior have been dressed down for telling a man who had just flown out of China and turned up at a local hospital with cold symptoms to come back for a check-up in several days.
The incident took place on Thursday morning, when the 30-year-old man decided to see a doctor at Gwalior district hospital, reportedly to make sure he did not catch the deadly coronavirus while in China.
The man returned to India just a week ago, and while it’s unclear whether he had flown from Wuhan, the city at the heart of the outbreak, or another area, he was apparently worried about his health as he displayed flu-like symptoms that are shared by 2019-nCoV and a group of other, less dangerous, ailments.
To his surprise, medical staff at the district hospital did not make much of a fuss over the matter, treating his condition as your ordinary runny nose. Instead of being placed in an infectious disease ward, the man was prescribed some pills and told to come back for a follow-up appointment in two days, the Times of India reported.Also on rt.com WHO declares international health emergency over coronavirus outbreak
Apparently not satisfied with the Gwalior district hospital’s freewheeling approach, the man tried his luck at another state-run hospital, Jai Arogya, but the result was the same, and he was once again told to go home without being put into quarantine.
The way the medical staffers at the Gwalior hospital handled the case has drawn sharp condemnation from their superiors. Dr. Mridul Saxena, chief medical and health officer at Gwalior, castigated the doctor who treated the man for failure to follow standard procedure.
“If he was suspected [of coronavirus infection], then why wasn’t protocol followed?” Saxena asked, adding that he requested “clarifications” from the personnel and that instructions have been given to “trace the patient.”
The doctor who examined the patient at the Gwalior facility said medical staff had already reached out to their colleagues at Jai Arogya and found out where the potentially infected man lives. Once found, a team of doctors will be dispatched to the 30-year-old’s place of residence to take samples to be tested for the virus.
The blunder comes shortly after India confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. The infected patient reportedly caught the virus while studying at Wuhan University in China.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in China continues to soar, reaching 9,692 infections as of the end of Thursday, while the death toll has climbed to 213, and 1,527 patients remain in critical condition. The virus has so far spread to over 15 countries, and four, besides China, have reported cases of person-to-person transmission. That list includes the US, Germany, Japan, and Vietnam.
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