PPE unavailability leaves Odisha COVID patient unattended, dies 

Doctors did not attend to Pankaj Behera as they did not have protective equipment at CCC

Published: 02nd August 2020 09:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2020 09:39 AM   |  A+A-

coronavirus, PPE, COVID 19

Health workers wearing PPE hold samples for COVID-19 rapid antigen testing. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR: Contrary to the claims of district administration oh having adequate stock of PPEs, a suspected Covid-19 patient died at a Covid Care Centre (CCC) on Friday as no one attended to him due to absence of the protective coveralls. Pankaj Behera of Rajiv Nagar in Berhampur town was suffering from fever for the last few days.

On Friday, his son took him to City hospital from where he was referred to the CCC set up at the nearby BP Homeopathy College girls hostel. Doctors of the city hospital said Behera was shifted to the CCC for want of oxygen. But when, he was brought to the CCC, no doctor or nurse attended him as they had no PPEs. His son and other family members searched for PPE kits at the medicine shops in the vicinity but could not find any.

They finally managed to purchase PPEs after 1.5 hours of search and gave them to the health staff at the CCC. However, by the time they attended to Behera, he had died. When his family members protested the negligence, they were threatened of police action. They lodged a complaint with the CDMO Dr Umashankar Mishra who said investigation into the allegation is underway and stringent action will be taken against anyone found guilty of negligence.

Meanwhile, two more Covid-19 patients succumbed to the deadly virus on Saturday. They are natives of Ganjam and Digapahandi. Laxminarayan Patra of Ganjam was under treatment at the Tata Covid Hospital at Sitalapali for the last one week. When his condition deteriorated, his family members sought permission from the attending doctors to shift him to Covid hospital at Bhubaneswar.

However, the request was allegedly turned down. On Saturday, the family members were informed by the hospital authorities that Patra succumbed to the disease. The third death took place at Bhubaneswar where Simanchal Sahu, a medicine shop owner of Digapahandi died while under treatment at a Covid hospital. His family members alleged that they were informed by the hospital staff this week that his condition was stable but this morning, they received information that Sahu had passed away. The Ganjam administration, though, is yet to officially announce the Covid deaths.


Berhampur: Restrictions on movement of people from rural areas to urban areas in Ganjam district will remain in force till August-end, Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange announced on Saturday. Speaking to mediapersons on Unlock 3 guidelines, he said all entry and exit points of the district will also remain closed till the situation normalises. Henceforth, shops will remain open from 5 am to 4 pm with strict adherence to Covid safety protocols and weekend shutdown on Saturday and Sunday would stay in force. The Collector said despite many odds, the district has remained successful in its fight against coronavirus and August is a crucial month. Kulange said due to vigorous testing, more number of positive cases are coming to fore. Covid fatality, he said, also increased as many infected persons hid their symptoms and arrived at hospital at the 11th hour. “Infected patients are dying due to low oxygen level. I urge people to not hide any symptoms if any”, he said, adding that Covid tally of Ganjam district is gradually decreasing due to lockdown and shutdown.

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