COVID-19 patients play hide-and-seek; health officials play cops to hunt down them

The officials in the health department were left high-and-dry when they found out that a patient had already left his home to avoid isolation facility

COVID-19 patients play hide-and-seek; health officials play cops to hunt down them

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 4

Besides the treatment, health officials are now playing cops as COVID-19 patients continue to play hide-and-seek with them.

The officials in the health department were left high-and-dry when they found out that a COVID-19 positive patient had already left his home to avoid isolation facility.

Health officials had reached the patient’s home in Bishan Nagar area of the city to shift him to the COVID-19 isolation facility.

The patient had already escaped to his relative’s house before the officials reached his residence. Consequently, the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) alerted all authorities to search for the patient.

After six hours of the search operation, the patient was caught from the house of his sister-in-law.

It was learnt that three members of the said family had come from Uttar Pradesh last week and all were positive for the COVID-19. However, one of the patients ran away from his house as soon as he came to know that he had tested positive.

As per the protocol, the Health Department officials have to convey the patient the test results telephonically immediately after the test reports from the lab reaches to them.

“Ironically, as soon as the health officials reach the concerned patients’ residences, they go into hiding,” says the Health Department.

A health official, on anonymity, said: “Our six hours were wasted to find the said patient. Is this the way to win the war against COVID-19? Community participation is must if we want to stave off the spread.”

Dr Anjana Gupta, Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Tripuri, said her team had to counsel the patient before shifting him to the COVID Care Centre.

“There is still fear of the virus in the society. We are counselling other people as well besides the patients,” the SMO added.

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