PALAKKAD: A 53-year-old Covid-19 patient of Thalayanakad in Sreekrishnapuram has completed 50 days in the Kerala Medical College and Hospital at Mangode, which is a Covid Care Centre in Palakkad district, after arriving from Chennai. His swab samples have been tested 15 times and the test results of one set of samples are awaited. He is yet to recover.He was admitted to the hospital on May 10 and he tested positive the next day. This is the first time in the state that a patient has spent so many days in a hospital without getting cured of Covid-19.
Earlier, a 62-year-old Vadasserikkara native woman had remained at the District Hospital at Kozhenchery in Pathanamthitta for 42 days and tested positive 19 times before recovering.Speaking to TNIE, the patient at the Mangode hospital said, “Altogether, I had tested positive 13 times and negative once. The test results of the swab samples taken on June 25 and 27 are pending.” He said the samples taken on June 13 had tested negative but the subsequent samples again tested positive.
“The test results are taking seven to eight days. Every time, I enquire about results, they reply that they are being awaited from NIV-Alappuzha. Authorities must do something to speed up test results of patients,” he said.Ottappalam health nodal officer Dr P G Manoj said the delay in getting test results from Alappuzha has led to the situation.
‘RT-PCR lab at Palakkad to speed up testing’
“The RT-PCR lab, which started functioning in Palakkad last week, would speed up testing. The patient’s sample taken on June 27 was tested at the lab here today and it came negative. If the test result of the sample taken on June 25 is not received from Alappuzha by Wednesday afternoon, his sample will be tested in the lab here. If it is negative, he will be discharged.” However, the lab in Palakkad can test only 80 samples per day and the district has 278 positive patients now, said Dr Manoj.
The patient said the positive patients admitted in the Covid Care Centre earlier were given single rooms. Doctors used to visit twice daily and ECG and other tests were done. The room was also disinfected. Now, with the rise in the number of patients admitted, all have been moved to wards and doctors visit them only once, he added.
“I and my brother-in-law had been running a tea stall at Vyasarpadi in Chennai. The tea stall was open till March 24. Then, we got stuck in our room near the shop. I started out from Chennai on May 5 along with seven others in a van and reached Walayar on May 6. We reached the District Hospital in Palakkad but were directed to remain in institutional quarantine at the Mangode hospital,” said the patient.
“I developed fever on May 10 and was shifted to the Taluk Hospital in Ottappalam in an ambulance and the swab samples were taken. I tested positive for the first time on May 11.”“I am the sole breadwinner of my family. My only son is yet to land a job. From March 24 to May 5, I had been confined to my room in Chennai and I am now stuck at the hospital here. I long to go home,” said the patient.