Family alleges doc infected on duty, rejects HOD claims

Sumit Sharma. Updated: 4/1/2020 10:38:10 AM Front Page

JAMMU: A day after a doctor posted in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) tested positive for deadly COVID-19, his family alleged that he was exposed to infection while collecting sample of patients in the hospital premises in absence of adequate protection gears.
Strongly rejecting the claims of Dr Shashi S Sudhan, HoD microbiology department in which the infected doctor works, the family said that he was a part of sample collection team, and supported the claim with a copy of the roster which lies with The News Now.
The family members also alleged that the authorities have adopted causal approach in collecting samples of family of doctor including his ailing mother, who is diabetic.
It may be mentioned that an Assistant Professor of Microbiology posted in GMC&H Jammu was among three persons who tested positive on Monday in Jammu.
The family of the microbiologist alleged that he was exposed to infection due to poor protection equipment (PPE), which was also supported by doctor fraternity.
“The doctors dealing with the suspects and confirmed cases of coronavirus are in dire need to PPEs. We are using the PPEs which was donated to us by Rotary club, but they are not up to the mark as evident from Monday’s development,” a senior doctor said, urging the government not to put doctors’ lives at risk for a mere Rs 2000 PPE.
The family members expressed their anguish for the way GMC&H administration treated the infected doctor, while rejecting the claim of Dr Shashi S Sudhan, the HoD Microbiology, who was quoted by a local daily saying that the doctor was not a part of Coronavirus testing team.
“Our son has no travel history; he never met with people who arrived from Hajj. He was working overtime since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Jammu. He was part of sample collection team and developed mild symptoms on March 21,” the 75-years old father of the microbiologist, also a retired SSP, told The News Now.
The doctor’s wife sent The News Now a copy of his duty roster, showing him on duty with the sample collection team.
“The HOD intentionally suppressed this information in order to avoid question from media and in general regarding the protection and safety of medical staff dealing with COVID-19 cases. The administration has failed to provide proper PPEs and other essential protection gear to the staff,” she said.
“He was daily visiting his home back since 13th March. That means we also got exposed to deadly virus and till today no tests has been done conducted on us. My 67-year-old wife is a diabetic,and a heart patient. We have been only put to quarantine a day ago,” the father said.
However, he informed that after raising issue with concerned authorities they assured of conducting the test tomorrow.
Meanwhile Dr Sudhan, when contacted by this scribe admitted that the infected doctor was on duty when he was infected with the virus, contradicting her earlier statement as published in a local daily on Tuesday.
On PPEs, she said that government has provided all the protection to doctors as of now.

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