COVID-19: A costly goof up by Kerala premier hospital

Thiruvananthapuram, March 17 (IANS) Forty three doctors of a premier medical institute here have been kept in isolation under medical observation after a doctor tested coronavirus positive.

These doctors belong to the SCTIMST (Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology), an institution of national importance under the Central government’s Department of Science and Technology. However, things went haywire because of the callous attitude of the higher ups in tackling the spread of COVID-19.

Apart from these medical professionals, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, who had visited the institute on Saturday and attended a high level meeting there, put himself in home quarantine in Delhi.

Muraleedharan and his office are deeply upset with the SCTIMST as they had asked the officials several times if the scheduled meeting can be held as COVID-19 was spreading. The officials said there were no issues and the meeting took place.

And now along with Muraleedharan, the district BJP leaders who had accompanied the Minister to the SCTIMST have also decided to be in isolation.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after hearing about what happened in the Central institute expressed his ire and reacted by saying that such a thing should never have happened.

Following this goof up by the authorities that led to even a Union Minister getting indisposed, action is likely against the wrong doers.

The doctor who tested coronavirus positive had returned from Spain on March 1 and reported for duty from March 2 onwards.

On March 8, he developed sore throat and wore a mask while attending to his duties, including seeing patients on March 10 and 11. On March 12, he was directed to be kept in isolation after Spain got included in the list of nations affected by COVID-19. On March 14, he was made to undergo a repeat test for coronavirus, which came out positive on Sunday.

With these many professionals not available for duty, normal services at the premier institute have been badly affected as this is a fully referral institute where appointments for patients are fixed in advance.

This institute, of late has been in the news for the wrong reasons after there have been differences of opinion between the senior staff members.

To sort out issues, their parent department has constituted a three member team to probe into the various issues that have cropped up and it’s at this time that this major goof up has taken place.



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