Medicines thrown from staff window, claims COVID-19 patient at Covid care centre

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press over the phone, one of the inmates of Covid Care Centre, UNACCO claims that no special treatment is given to the patients but they were given only one Vitamin C tablet per day.

 

The medical staff hardly came to check on them. They clean the washroom and clear the garbage themselves. The required medicines were often thrown to them from the window of the staff, patients at several Covid care centres complain. And now, despite the rapid increase in COVID-19 positive cases in Manipur, the latest updated standard operating procedures (SOP) of Covid Care centres in the state permits asymptomatic patients to vacate the centre after a 10-day stay even if the patient is still COVID-19 positive. Some asymptomatic patients have left Covid care centres though they still tested COVID-19 positive, sources said.

As per the updated advisory on strategy for COVID-19 testing in Manipur issued by the directorate of health services on September 17, “Asymptomatic COVID-19 positive cases admitted to Covid Care Centre will be discharged 10 days after testing positive for SARS-Cov-2.”

“Very mild pre-symptomatic COVID-19 positive cases admitted to Covid Care Centre will be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset inclusive of consecutive three days prior to discharge without fever… There will be no need for testing prior to discharge. At the time of discharge, the patient will be advised to isolate himself or herself at home and self-monitor his or her health for seven more days,” the advisory stated 

Following it, some asymptomatic patients have left Covid care centres even though they still tested COVID-19 positive, said sources from Covid Care Centres at UNACCO School, Meitram and Lamboi Khongnangkhong.

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press over the telephone, one of the inmates of Covid Care Centre, UNACCO claimed that no special treatment is given to the patients but they were given only one Vitamin C tablet per day.

“Doctors or nurses did not come even to check our health. The only time we are able to directly contact the medical officials is only during the time of testing,” she added.

The patient said if the inmates have any health issues, they have to contact the officials only through a phone number which is pasted on the wall of their rooms. Following their health complaint, the needed medicine will be thrown out to the patients from the window of the staff room. They also gave already opened Vitamin C pills by wrapping in a surgical gloves cover or in a paper, she said.

The patient also claimed that works such as cleaning of washrooms, throwing of garbage and others are done only by the inmates. However, in a report submitted to the heath directorate it was stated that the staff has been taking up the works, she contended, adding that heated exchanges have even taken place between the inmates and the staff of the centre over the matter. 

The Imphal Free Press had called up the official of the Covid Care Centre for clarification on the matter but the call was not picked up.

Regarding the new updated advisory on COVID-19 testing, Dr Dihe N, who is in-charge of Covid Care Centre, Lamboi Khonangkhong, told the IFP that the new updated SOP is highly risky.

As per the updated SOP, the authority of the Covid Care Centre does not have the power to stop the patients from leaving the centre if they had stayed for 10 days, he pointed out. He also said that daily medical checkup of all the patients in the centre is not necessary as all the inmates are asymptomatic patients and if any patient started showing symptoms, he or she will be transferred to JNIMS or RIMS for treatment.

The doctor further said that he had apprised the chief minister to provide separate blocks for small children and old aged people in the Covid Care Centre as their immune are comparatively weaker.        

The general public has expressed strong opposition to the new updated SOP for COVID-19 testing. 

Yengkhom Bode of Chingmeirong expressed shock and said “The new updated SOP is very immature. It displays irresponsibility of the government. It is indeed very shocking that the government is taking up such extremely risky steps.”

While pointing out that most of the houses in the state have common bathroom and toilet, he asked how self-isolation will be possible. 

As per the COVID-19 Common Control Room, the state had witnessed a total of 10,477 COVID-19 positive cases till 5pm as of Monday out of which, 7, 982 have recovered leaving the active cases to 2, 431. The total number of deaths is 64 and the recovery rate is 76.18 per cent.

 

First Published:Sept. 28, 2020, 11:54 p.m.

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