KOLKATA: Test reports of an elderly man in Kolkata was first declared to be COVID positive on April 25, then negative the next day and again positive a day before he died, alleged a family member of the deceased.
The family members fear that they may have contracted the virus because the man in his mid-sixties spent more than 24 hours with them before he was admitted for the second time to a hospital which had released him.
Sources in the health department said an inquiry was initiated to ascertain those responsible for the “lapse”.
The latest incident is likely to cause an embarrassment to the Mamata Banerjee government, which is at loggerheads with the Centre.
The patient, a resident of north Kolkata, had fever on April 18 and was taken to a private healthcare unit after four days. ‘’Doctors clinic suggested us to take my father to MR Bangur Hospital which have been designated for COVID. He was admitted there. The positive-negative seesaw started from April 25,’’ said the elder son of the deceased.
He said a health department official informed him that his father had tested positive.
"He instructed us to quarantine ourselves at home. We followed the instruction. Next day, I received a call from authorities of MR Bangur hospital that my father’s test report came negative and that he would be discharged.”
He then went to the hospital and brought his father home.
“As the hospital authorities said the result was negative, we did not follow quarantine norms. I again received a call from headquarters of the health department on Monday informing that the hospital had released my father by mistake. We were instructed to admit him to the same hospital immediately. I admitted him and he died on Tuesday,’’ the distraught son said.
The family members are now waiting to undergo COVID test.
"It was only because of the callousness on the part of the health department. If me, my wife and children test positive for COVID-19 and meet the same fate like my father, who will be held responsible?’’ asked the son.