Negligence In Handling COVID-19 Patient's Body: Is India Equipped To Combat Virus?
India with its 1.3 billion people has been put under lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus.
The centre and the state governments are burning all the bridges that would escalate the situation into a catastrophe.
However, what seems to add challenge to the existing outbreak is the way bodies of COVID-19 positive patients are being handled.
Amid the coronavirus chaos, an incident of utmost medical negligence was reported when the Patna All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS-P) handed over the body of a COVID-19 positive patient to his relatives.
Reportedly the hospital handed over the body of a patient to his family on Sunday morning, March 22.
The patient, with a travel history to Qatar, was admitted to AIIMS on March 20 and died the next morning on March 21.
The diagnosis has reported him suffering from chronic kidney disease. His kidneys had failed and he was on dialysis. He had been diagnosed with respiratory failure.
AIIMS-Patna Superintendent Dr CM Singh passed the buck and said that they received the reports after they had handed over the body to the relatives, reported, Hindustan Times.
However, Dr Pradeep Das, Director of the Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS), said there was no delay in giving the report.
"We received the sample in the morning on March 20 and gave the report on March 21," said Dr Das.
Defending his action in handing over the body before receipt of the test report, the superintendent, AIIMS-Patna, said, "The body of the coronavirus patient was handed over to his relatives properly wrapped in polythene."
"Normally, the virus spreads through cough and sneezing. It is unlikely that the virus will spread through the body, though it remains on the surface for some time," justified Dr Singh.
Reacting to the incident, Bihar's principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar said, "We have passed on instructions to the Munger district administration to dispose of the body under observation, as per the standard operating procedure (SOP)."
Kumar also informed that medical colleges and hospitals have been directed not to carelessly hand over bodies of COVID-19 suspects tp their relatives unless they receive their test reports.
In a separate incident, the death of a COVID-19 patient in Bengal, on Monday, March 23, raised concerns regarding the handling of the dead body as the deceased's family did not turn up at the hospital.
The locals at the cremation ground also refused the entry of the body in the area and it was finally cremated in an electric crematorium after a 10-hour delay on Monday night.