KARUR: A 47-year-old trader from Punnam Chathiram became the first person to succumb to COVID-19 in Karur district, after initially having his fever treated by a quack.
Palanisamy was running a grocery store in Punnam. He developed high fever on June 23.
Initially, he was treated by Shanmugam (65) who was running a private medical centre named Rajesh Hospital in Noyyal Cross road.
As his fever didn't subside, Palanisamy was advised to go to the Karur GMCH for treatment. He was finally admitted to the Karur GMCH last Saturday.
Doctors there took Palanisamy's swab samples and sent them for COVID-19 tests. A day later, it was confirmed that he had tested positive.
Palanisamy was later moved to the ICU, as his condition kept deteriorating. But unfortunately, he died while undergoing treatment on Monday night.
A Health Department probe into Palanisamy's death found that Shanmugam, who treated the trader initially, was a quack. Based on a complaint filed by Bakiyalakshmi, Joint Director, Health in Karur, the Velayuthampalayam police registered a case against him and began an investigation.
Police sources said, "After conducting a probe, we found that Shanmugam was a phony doctor and was running his own hospital in the Noyyal region for more than 25 years. During inquiry, Shanmugam accepted that he had treated Palanisamy. As he was treating a COVID-19 patient, Shanmugam has been quarantined. He will be arrested once he completes his quarantine."
Shanmugam's wife and two daughters have also undergone COVID-19 tests. They have been asked to remain quarantined for the next two weeks.
Karur Health department officials also issued a warning to all local clinics and small hospitals treating patients suffering from fever to alert them.
The district administration has sealed Shanmugam’s hospital.