GUWAHATI: An Assam hospital goofed-up by discharging a COVID-19 patient instead of another who recovered from the disease.
The incident was reported from the government-run Mangaldai Civil Hospital in Darrang district. The blunder made the district authorities to order a magisterial probe into the incident.
The hospital authorities took a decision on discharging one Hamid Ali and five others as they recovered from COVID-19. While the persons were being discharged at 7 pm on Wednesday, the authorities mixed up Hamid Ali with Hanif Ali. So, instead of Hamid Ali, they discharged Hanif Ali along with Nazrul Islam, Sajidul Haque, Sikander Ali, Sahidul Haque, and Osman Goni.
They left the hospital in an ambulance in the presence of local MLA Gurujyoti Das, District Magistrate Dilip Kumar Bora, and Superintendent of Police Amrit Bhuyan.
The DM said the near similar names of the two persons had led to the mix-up.
“It was a mix-up. All of them were in home quarantine when health officials on Thursday morning learnt about Hanif Ali being wrongly discharged. So, he was readmitted to the hospital. His swab sample was collected and he tested negative on Thursday evening. He will be discharged today (Friday). Hamid Ali has been already discharged,” the DM said, adding “The problem was created as everyone wears a mask now-a-days”.
Hamid Ali and Hanif Ali hail from Dalgaon Sialmari village in the district. The authorities declared the house of Hanif Ali as a containment zone.
The magisterial probe will be carried out by an Additional DM who has been asked to submit the report within three days.
This is not the first incident of a goof-up at the hospital. In 2015, two children, one born to a Bodo family and the other to a Muslim family, got swapped after birth. Three years later, following consultations and DNA tests, the families agreed to exchange the babies but the children were unwilling to part with their non-biological parents.
In 2013, five people, including a woman, had tested positive for HIV following a blood transfusion at the hospital.