Pvt hospitals caught on the wrong foot

Pulled up for treating symptomatic patients without RT-PCR Covid test

Pvt hospitals caught on the wrong foot

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 5

In the wake of the rising number of Covid deaths despite a sharp decline in the number of positive cases, the Health Department has issued strict warnings to private hospitals against “hiding” suspected cases.

The department has directed private hospitals to conduct the RT-PCR test of the suspected patients. According to the Health Department, suspected patients are not tested timely and start taking treatment from private service providers due to which proper Covid treatment gets delayed. Hence, the fatalities are on the rise. In the warning issued to private hospitals and clinics, the department told them that the RT-PCR test was mandatory for the suspected patients before starting any treatment.

The department has found private players using non-confirmatory methods such as CT scan and X-ray for Covid detection. The department said during the inquiry of recent Covid deaths, it was found that a number of patients had visited private hospitals with symptoms, but their RT-PCR test was not conducted, owing to the delay in the treatment.

In an incident, a private hospital allowed a Covid positive patient aged around 75 to go home without informing the Health Department. The said patient died within a few hours.

Notably, 64 cases have been reported in the past four days while 11 people died of Covid — a mortality rate of 17 per cent. Sources said positive cases were going ‘unreported’ that later lead to deaths.

Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Satinder Singh said: “We have issued a strict warning after it came to fore that private hospitals and clinics were treating symptomatic patients without getting a Covid test conducted. In fact, private practitioners were not even isolating the suspected patients.”

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