Author – Tabassum Barnagarwala
| Mumbai |
Published : 22. March 2020. 5:36:43
As the news spread, 21 of his employees and family members broke in contact with him at Victoria Hospital on Friday night to be tested. (file)
The first four people who tested positive for KOVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh, all residents of Jabalpur, landed at Mumbai International Airport on March 16 and were allowed to leave after a simple thermal examination because they showed no symptoms.
All four symptoms developed within four days of returning home. Two of them took the train to Jabalpur, one left and the other took the bus. Three of them, who belonged to the same family, violated domestic quarantine and were in contact with at least 21 people in Jabalpur. They keep trying to follow their fellow travellers on the train, the bus and the flight between Mumbai, Nagpur and Jabalpur.
The way in which the medical authorities in Madhya Pradesh have treated these four people and the people they have come into contact with over the past few days clearly shows a different approach to that of the other states in the KOVID 19 training top curve.
Of the four people, three from the same family – the jeweller (59 years old), his wife (45 years old) and his daughter (22 years old) – had ten. Walking to Dubai to meet his son. I went to Nagpur to work. From there I took the bus to Jabalpur. My wife and daughter took a direct train from Mumbai, said a 59-year-old boy.
They flew away on the 16th. Back in Mumbai in March they were examined and were allowed to leave because none of them showed symptoms. The family did not strictly abide by the domestic quarantine rules. The man went to his office and the jewelry store and contacted 21 employees and family members.
On Wednesday, his fever peaked and he visited Victoria Hospital. But this was the first case in Madhya Pradesh, and the man said he had not received an urgent recommendation from doctors for his condition. It was rejected. It took another two days to convince the hospital to examine him.
On the first day I was told that there was no need to test. Two days later I had weak movements and was out of breath. After forcing their way to the hospital, they agreed to come and see me yesterday, said a 59-year-old boy. His wife and daughter, both asymptomatic, also tested positive.
As the news spread, 21 employees and family members who had been in contact with the family went to Victoria Hospital on Friday evening for tests. But again, the hospital doesn’t seem to want to test any of them and only agreed if some employees insisted.
We have been asked to go home and not come back until we have symptoms, says Dheerendra Jain, who works in the jewellery shop. Another employee, Waibhav Joshi, said 10 employees went home without being inspected. I have a cough and a cold. They tried to hunt us down, but we persisted. Today they finally agreed to control 11 of us, Joshi said.
Priyanka Dixit, Vice Chief Rector of the West Central Railway, said based on the data provided by passengers when booking their tickets, they are called up and informed that the fellow passenger has a positive test. You are asked to take reasonable precautions.
As an immediate measure, those who are in the car of the train on which the family was travelling will be contacted first. She added that all areas where the train comes from have also been informed of the precautions taken.
It is difficult for parliamentary officials to specify the details of the 59-year-old man’s bus because he cannot remember which bus he boarded from Nagpur to Jabalpur. All he remembers is that he took the bus from the theatre near Nagpur.
A fourth man, a 24-year-old graduate student, arrived in Jabalpur on January 16 with a positive result. March from Switzerland to Mumbai.
As a precaution he was taken to Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai, but he was released without investigation. Dr. Daksha Shah, BMS Deputy Director of Health, said that only symptoms and people with associated diseases are tested. The same day he flew to Jabalpur.
I followed all the quarantine rules of the house. My mother would have stayed 10 feet away from me. I’d eat separately in my room, he said. On Thursday, his fever peaked and he went to the local doctors. He tested positive on Friday. His mother, who is 64 years old and suffers from high blood pressure, has not been tested in Parliament.
Dr Debasis Biswas of the Department of Microbiology of AIIMS in Bhopal said: We were told to check for close contacts and symptomatic health workers. Since these are laboratory confirmed contacts, they should be tested. We should check it out. Dr. PV Barde, who is connected to ICRM in Jabalpur, was not available for comment.
said Dr. Weibhav Mishra of Gajra Raja Medical College in Gwaliora: The ICRM guidelines are very clear. We need to test close contact between 5 and 14 days. We follow the guidelines. Contacts are checked for symptoms.
Four patients remain on an isolated ward at Notaji Subhash Chandra Bowes Medical College, where they have complained about the cleanliness of the wards and the lack of medical care. Somehow the authorities have made our personal details public and there are rumours that we have been walking around in China and Surat. False videos are spreading among us, said the jeweler’s 22-year-old daughter. My father is short of breath, but no one has come to see him. At least we ordered a chest X-ray, she said.
A 24-year-old PhD student stated that his mother also faced social discrimination. They say we brought the virus into the city. The government’s mandate is to keep a meter away from the public. I avoided going out, I stayed at least two meters away from my mother, but I still had to endure the humiliation, he added.
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