Amid the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Jalgaon-based doctor with high fever and breathlessness was rejected treatment at four private hospitals.
The fresh imported cases of coronavirus have jumped to 52 in Maharashtra and crossed 200 mark in India, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Hospitals wanted a clearance from the family that the patient does not suffer from deadly novel coronavirus. However, after much delay, the doctor was admitted at Jalgaon's Government Medical College where he was put on ventilator support.
The panic over the spread of coronavirus and lack of reliable information have increased the fear even in private hospitals and doctors, who are denying treatment to patients with symptoms similar to coronavirus.
The Maharashtra doctor had no travel history of travelling abroad, nor did he report having any contact with any patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
He had recently returned from Kolhapur to his hometown Bhusawal and developed a fever.
He had a high-grade fever and suffered breathlessness on Wednesday night. His family spent the entire night trying to get him hospitalised.
"We first took him to his general physician, who was not there. From there we went to an intensive care hospital, but doctors there said he might have coronavirus and spread it in the hospital," The Indian Express quoted the doctor's uncle as saying.
The family then tried to take him to three other hospitals.
"Every hospital refused to admit him. They said what if he had coronavirus. We told them he had not travelled abroad but nobody listened. We spent the entire night running from one hospital to another," the uncle further added.
On Thursday, the family admitted the doctor to the Government Medical College at 7 am where he was put on ventilator support.
Doctors asked the family to move him somewhere else as they did not have critical care support. "That is when we approached the district collector. He ordered GMC to continue hospitalisation," said social worker Pratibha Shinde.
"We have conducted blood tests. Since he has no travel history, a coronavirus test is not required. We are waiting for reports. He remains serious and requires ventilator support," Dr Bhaskar Khaire, dean of the hospital said, adding the doctor's condition has deteriorated in the last few hours due to delay in treatment.
The panic over coronavirus or COVID-19 and lack of information have fuelled fear even in private hospitals and doctors, who are turning away patients with symptoms similar to coronavirus, district health officials told The Indian Express.