COVID-19 CRISIS

Delhiites turn to Punjab hospitals for treatment, Health Department on alert

The patients will not be added in Punjab's COVID-19 tally

Delhiites turn to Punjab hospitals for treatment, Health Department on alert

With the Covid situation turning from bad to worse in Delhi, many from the national Capital have been rushing to Punjab for testing and treatment of the infection.

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 12

With the COVID situation turning from bad to worse in Delhi, many from the national Capital have been rushing to Punjab for testing and treatment of the infection, a development that has the health authorities worried.

Worrying trend

We have informed the Director, Health and Family Welfare. Such patients should not be counted in the Punjab caseload, but in that of Delhi. — Dr Harish Malhotra, Patiala Civil Surgeon

Three residents of Delhi have been admitted to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala after they tested positive for COVID-19, while another came to Mohali, the Punjab government officials said.

According to the officials, all four travelled on Friday from Delhi to Punjab, where they tested positive for COVID-19. They added that the patients were, however, claiming that they travelled to the state to visit their relatives and not for the treatment.

A 57-year-old bank manager, posted in Delhi for the past several years, tested positive for the disease in Patiala on Friday. His son claimed that after showing corona symptoms, his father visited several hospitals for the treatment, but wasn’t entertained anywhere.

In another case, an elderly couple has been admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital here. Officials said the husband-wife duo visited the health facility as soon as they reached Patiala from Delhi on Wednesday. They had got tested at a private lab in the Capital and were found positive.

Concerned over the emerging trend, the Health Department has alerted the policymakers to find a solution.

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu alleged that people in the New Delhi were being denied testing and medical services. He took a swipe at the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, saying the situation exposed the “tall claims” of the Delhi Chief Minister, who always said they had successful health services there.

After approaching their relatives or friends in Patiala, the three patients reached the hospital for testing for COVID-19 and treatment, the officials said.

Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra said it appeared as if all of them were visiting the state on purpose—for corona treatment.

“We have informed the Director, Health and Family Welfare. Such patients should not be counted in the Punjab caseload, but in that of Delhi,” he said.

Malhotra said they would not be included in Punjab’s coronavirus tally as the patients hailed from Delhi but were only being treated in Punjab.

Another patient from Delhi came to Mohali on Friday night for treatment, officials said.

“We have isolated him and will treat him,” said Mohali Civil Surgeon Manjit Singh.

“We have informed about this case to the Mohali Deputy Commissioner,” he added.

The state Health Minister said the state government would provide treatment to every patient.

“Today, the Delhi government has given up. They used to say their Mohalla clinics and hospitals were very successful,” he alleged.

Sources said people from Delhi were approaching their friends, extended family members and acquaintances in Punjab to find accommodation on rent. A property dealer said he was hunting for a ‘kothi’ (house) on rent in Mohali for two families from Delhi.

Dr Sumeet Singh, District Epidemiologist, said, “There have been several cases of people from Delhi visiting their relatives and friends in Punjab as the situation in the Capital seems to be worsening by the day. The corona positivity rate of those coming from the NCR and Maharashtra is quite high compared to other places.”

The Punjab government had announced the imposition of stricter lockdown on weekends and public holidays in the state. The state government had also mulled imposing strict conditions, including mandatory testing certification, for entrants from Delhi to Punjab in the wake of the situation assuming “alarming proportions” in the national capital. — With inputs from PTI

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