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An associate professor at Aligarh Muslim University's Department of Medicine was suspended for negligence and misconduct after a 55-year-old COVID-19 patient from Assampada area died on Tuesday.
The professor had allegedly used his influence to shift the deceased from isolation ward to casualty despite the knowledge that he was COVID-19 patient, which might have exposed others to the deadly infection.
Admitted to AMU's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital on Sunday, April 19, he is said to have arrived at the hospital in an emergency with breathing problems. On Monday, he tested positive for the virus and died the next day. The deceased also had underlying conditions of diabetes and hypertension.
Soon after the incident, 47 AMU staffers who had come in contact with the patient were quarantined along with the doctor and his family, reported The Times of India.
"As the deceased had visited more than one medical facility, the number of cases could increase. We are doing contact tracing and also investigating the role of the doctors," The Hindu quoted Senior Superintendent of Police Muniraj P. as saying.
After the incident, it is decided that the list of patients in the emergency and the isolation wards would be shared with the district administration every morning and evening. A private X-ray lab has also been sealed and licenses cancelled after it tested the infected person despite flu-like symptoms.
The incident spiked fears in the district administration and the University has been asked to explain why the district administration had not been informed about the COVID-19 patient and whether the proper protocols had been followed while the deceased was in the hospital, reported the Hindu.
The Resident Doctors' Association of JNMC said "Such statements would weaken the fight against novel coronavirus," condemning the district administration's statement. They also clarified that the suspended professor had misused his position and shifted the man to the emergency ward.
The district's first positive case was reported on April 9, when a 22-year-old Firozabad resident had come to Aligarh on March 12 to take part in a Jamaat event in the city.
Aligarh reported its first case on April 9 after a 22-year-old tested positive but he later recovered. After the incident, the number of cases in Aligarh has grown to three.
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