Doctors who treated ‘super spreader’ test negative

Heave a sigh of relief, say got away, can’t thank stars enough

Doctors who treated ‘super spreader’ test negative

Cops at a naka in Jalandhar on Wednesday. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 1

It’s been a close shave for all doctors, who tested Nawanshar’s 70-year-old elderly – the state’s first Covid-19 deceased and official ‘super spreader’.

The delighted doctors are now thanking their stars that the virus spared them.

Dr Yashpal Basra, Phagwara doctor who tested him

I feel we were lucky. Fear loomed large on all our staff members and the hospital regarding consequences if we tested positive. While testing him, I wasn't aware of his travel history, nor did the family inform us. We treated him as a diabetic and hypertension case because his sugar levels were 550 and blood pressure 200, when he came to us. The next day they expressed willingness to go to a Jalandhar hospital, following which the family chose to go to Patel hospital.

The Nawanshahr elderly left a trail of patients behind across the state, which so far includes two deaths (his own and that of a 65-year-old Moranwali priest on Sunday) and 29 positive patients from Nawanshahr (19), Jalandhar (4) and Hoshiarpur (6).

However, the virus has miraculously spared 16 doctors and medical staff, who tested or treated him. The samples of all these 16 doctors have tested negative.

In all, the elderly was tested or treated by at least 23 doctors (and support staff) across Phagwara, Jalandhar and Nawanshahr. At Phagwara, eight people treated him, including a doctor, at the Patel Hospital in Jalandhar; nine people (including two doctors) treated him at Civil Hospital Jalandhar as well as Nawanshahr - three people each.

Of these, the tests of at least 16 people were taken, all of which tested negative. These include one from Nawanshahr, seven from Jalandhar and eight from Phagwara. The Nawanshahr doctor was the first to test the elderly and raise alarm over him, uncovering a trail of cases. Barring him other are seven (of total 9) staff at the Patel Hospital and eight persons (a doctor and seven staff members) of Phagwara private hospital, who have also tested negative.

The three staff members at Jalandhar and three staff members at Nawanshahr were not tested. Jalandhar health authorities had previously informed that the Jalandhar staff had been placed under quarantine but they were asymptomatic.

The last persons whose reports arrived on Monday were the three support staff of Phagwara private hospital.

Dr Basra tested a sizeable number of Phagwara and Phillaur’s population. Many people from rural areas bank on him for health services in the area. The Nawanshar elderly visited him in a very serious condition and died a day later at Nawanshahr.

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