Kerala Doctor Who Reported Suspected Coronavirus Case Sacked, Govt Says She Spread Panic

The doctor has said that she was fired from the clinic for reporting about the patient to the health department and the police.

11 March 2020 10:49 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-03-11T16:52:51+05:30
Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh | By : Reethu Ravi
Kerala Doctor Who Reported Suspected Coronavirus Case Sacked, Govt Says She Spread Panic

A doctor of a private clinic in Kerala's Thrissur on Tuesday alleged that the management sacked her for informing authorities about a suspected case of coronavirus in a non-resident Indian(NRI) patient. However, the government says that the doctor created unnecessary panic about coronavirus.

Dr Shinu Syamalan alleged that a man with high fever had come to the private clinic on Sunday. Upon realising that the man had recently returned from Qatar, but had not reported to the Health department about his foreign trip, she alerted the health authorities on suspicion that the patient could have COVID-19.

On Monday, the doctor went live on Facebook to express her fears regarding the possibility of the man being infected with the coronavirus. In the video, she said that the man and his wife had told her that he had come to India from Qatar in the last week of January and was planning to go back on Monday.

"They seemed uninterested, they also refused to give me their phone number. I tried to convince him to go to the health officials and avoid travel to Qatar, but he was adamant about going back," the doctor said in the video. She had then alerted the health officials about the same. However, she alleged that the officials took no action. She added that she had found out that the man had reached Qatar and is under observation in a hospital there.


Later, the doctor had also appeared on a regional television channel to narrate the incident. On Tuesday, Syamalan wrote on Facebook that she was fired from the clinic for reporting about the patient to the health department and the police, for posting about it on Facebook and for talking about it on TV.

She added that she had not mentioned the name of the clinic or published the details of the man. "I was only doing my duty. I will continue to do that. Officials who let the patient go abroad do not have any problem, but I have become jobless," she wrote.

"It is a private clinic, so the owner is not answerable to anyone. He had heard me alert the health authorities about a person with a high fever who had come to Kerala from Qatar some days ago and failed to report it to the health department. The owner didn't want me to alert them and said that it would bring trouble if people came to know that a coronavirus-infected person had visited the clinic. No one would come to the clinic after that, he feared," Syamalan told The News Minute.

However, the Thrissur District Medical Office (DMO) has complained to the collector against the doctor for "spreading unnecessary panic about the disease and demoralising the health workers who have been working day and night."

"The man had returned from Qatar on January 31. According to the guidelines issued to us, no case had been reported there during that time, so we didn't have to quarantine him. It is wrong to spread unnecessary fear. Further, a news channel has run a show speaking poorly of the health department without enquiring anything from us," DMO Dr Reena told the media.

In her report to the Collector, the DMO added that the man had got fever only 35 days after his return to India. She further said that it is mandatory in Qatar to isolate people who have arrived fro other countries and it was without understanding this that Syamalan had mentioned about the man bein admitted there.

Also Read: UK Junior Health Minister Nadine Dorries Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Suggest a correction

    Help Us Correct

    To err is human, to help correct is humane
    Identified a factual or typographical error in this story? Kindly use this form to alert our editors
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Form Submitted Successfully
    Error in submitting form. Try again later

Contributors

Reethu Ravi

Reethu Ravi

Trainee Digital Journalist

Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.

Shubhendu Deshmukh

Shubhendu Deshmukh

Digital Editor

Shubhendu, the quint essential news junky, the man who loves science and politics in equal measure and offers the complete contrast to it by being a fan of urdu poetry as well.

Reethu Ravi

Reethu Ravi

Trainee Digital Journalist

Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.

Next Story