THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “It’s been three days since he was taken from our house, we have no official communication on his medical status or the hospital he is admitted to,” lamented a relative (who didn’t want to reveal his identity) of a 75-year-old male Covid patient hailing from Thiruvananthapuram. “His condition deteriorated on Friday afternoon and we contacted the authorities seeking help to transport him to a hospital. We made the call around noon and the ambulance came at 6pm and he was taken away.
Despite making umpteen number of calls, till this moment, we haven’t got any official communication from anywhere on where he has been admitted in or what his condition is,” he added. This is the plight of hundreds of families who are left in the dark about the medical condition or whereabouts of their loved ones. Everyday, hundreds of patients are getting transported to hospitals after experiencing discomfort because of Covid.
“On the day he was taken away, we were told that he was being taken to Peroorkada Hospital but when we contacted the hospital, we were told he was not admitted there and migt be admitted at the Medical College Hospital. We contacted the DMO’s office, in the war room number and several other numbers, but failed to get the information,” he said. The family had to use their personal contacts to locate him.
“We got a hint that he might be in the MCH and, fortunately, we knew someone working there and we contacted him and came to know that he was in the ICU. We still have no official confirmation. The entire family is under quarantine and it’s really hard as everybody is worried,” the relative added. According to officials at the collectorate war room, the helpline numbers are flooded with calls from families of the patients seeking information on the patients’ medical status but they are unable to divulge any information instantly.
In the wake of the growing complaints, the State Mission Director had issued an order directing officials to set up a help desk and Covid-19 Jagratha officer to ensure smooth communication and information flow to the control rooms. According to officials, once the help desk and the officials take charge, the issue would be resolved. “The official in charge will record patient details, status of the patients’ symptoms, treatment given and the health status of the patient on the portal so that it is accessible. Soon, the system would be in place,” the official said.
District panchayat president D Suresh Kumar said that they are also receiving several calls from the families. “The situation is grim and we are going through one of the worst crises ever. The authorities are doing whatever they can and healthcare staff are busy saving lives and stabilising patients who arrive at the hospital with worsened symptoms. Everybody needs to be patient at this time of crisis. We have decided to open help desks at every Covid hospital including the first- and second-line treatment centres to manage the patient details,” said Suresh.
Though the authorities claim that the bed availability in hospitals is updated real time on the Covid Jagratha portal, the real picture is different and the Tambulance drivers have to ferry the patients from one hospital to another to get a bed. An official of the Peroorkada Hospital said they are finding it difficult to update the portal every four hours. “The system is already overwhelmed and we are always busy stabilising patients who often come with severe symptoms. Many of them have breathing issues. It’s not practical to update Covid Jagratha site every four hours. Right now, we have assigned a person who is updating the details along with carrying out several other responsibilities,” said the official. The official said that more staff would be deployed for data entry to manage the crisis.
According to officials at the collectorate war room, the helpline numbers are flooded with calls from families of the patients seeking information on the patients’ medical status but they are unable to divulge any information instantly.
In the wake of the growing complaints, the State Mission Director had issued an order directing officials to set up a help desk and Covid-19 Jagratha officer to ensure smooth communication and information flow to the control rooms.