COVID19 pregnant woman shown negative in medical certificate

Discharged after delivery at Bijbehara hospital, newly-turned mother to be isolated again | Authorities admit negligence, order inquiry
COVID19 pregnant woman shown negative in medical certificate
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Sumaira was admitted to a COVID19 designated health facility on May 28 after her sample tested positive for the virus.

On June 7, when her date of delivery was nearing, she was issued a COVID19 negative certificate by the authorities at the Emergency and Trauma Care Hospital, Bijbehara.

The expecting mother from Shamsipora village of Mattan was told that her second sample had returned negative.

Subsequently, she was shifted to the nearby sub-district hospital Bijbehara the same day. She was admitted in the hospital's general ward for two days, along with other patients.

On June 9, Sumaira delivered a child and was shifted to the ward. She spent the next two days there.

"The authorities had already conveyed us that she was tested on June 4 and reported negative for the infection," a doctor working in the hospital said.

The doctor said Sumaira was treated at the hospital by the doctors and paramedics as COVID19 negative patients after she showed the certificate given to her by the authorities.

"While she was to be discharged, the health authorities received her report which showed her positive again," the doctor said.

Soon, the doctors learned that her samples had been collected hours before she got the COVID19 certificate.

The hospital staff went into the tizzy and the doctor who had operated upon her were sent to home quarantine.

The mismanagement did not stop here. The woman was discharged and allowed to go home even after she had tested positive for the fatal infection again.

She stayed at her house for three more days with an impression of having recovered from the infection. The health authorities again took her sample for the third time in a row, which returned positive. They were now left with no choice but to shift her to an isolation facility.

Greater Kashmir is in possession of documents revealing that the certificate showing her negative for coronavirus had another patient's ID number mentioned on it.

The sample that had tested negative, featuring at Serial No 6 in the list, with patient ID No 60152 actually was of Veena Kaur, admitted in the same facility, the documents suggest.

The doctor said Kaur was also issued a COVID19 negative certificate the same day and discharged.

The family of Sumaira is shell-shocked. "We are not able to comprehend what all is happening," said her husband, Abdul Majid.

He supports his family by driving a tractor and the newborn is their first child. "All these days, people turned up to our house to congratulate us, but our joy was short lived," he said.

The doctors apprehend many people might have contracted the infection the woman's house and the hospital. "We are hoping against hope that, the patients and other staff in the SDH Bijbehara did not contract the infection," said another doctor.

He said they were also expecting that people who visited her and his family members including the newborn did not contract the infection.

Medical Superintendent SDH, Bijbehara Dr Showkat Parray, who is also in charge of the COVID19 center was not available for his comment.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Anantnag however admitted negligence on the part of authorities and revealed that inquiry has been ordered.

"I have talked to the Director Health (Kashmir) regarding the issue and a probe is already on," he said, adding they will get the report "soon."

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