3 declared COVID positive days after their death

Medics question delay in test reports
3 declared COVID positive days after their death
Representational Photo

A 60-year-old woman from Sarnal locality of Anantnag town was admitted at GMC Anantnag on July 6 after she complained of severe breathlessness and flu-like symptoms. Her samples were taken on July 9 and sent to SKIMS lab for Covid-19 testing.

The following morning she died. Her body was handed over to the family for last rites even as her report was awaited.

People in large numbers participated in her funeral and thronged her residence to offer condolences to the family.

Late evening on Monday, fourth day of her death, her sample returned positive for coronavirus.

Her family, relatives, friends who participated in the funeral and visited the house went into a tizzy. "No protocols were followed as people were unaware of the nature of her death," said a local who had participated in the funeral.

He said the family was not apprised about any guidelines by the health or medical college authorities.

However, Medical Superintendent (MS), GMC Anantnag said they followed all the guidelines. "We directed the family to perform the last rites of the deceased as per protocols. But they seem not to have adhered to it," the MS said.

A health official said that the family members have been advised home quarantine till "we take their samples".

"We also ask other people who came in contact with her during her sickness to come forward for testing," he said.

A medic, however, questioned the delay in the reports. "It is bizarre that the family gets a report four or even six days after the death of their kin," he lamented.

Similarly, another woman from Simthan village of Bijbehara was declared COVID-19 positive last evening posthumously. Her samples had also been taken on July 9.

In another case, a patient from Nikloora-Litter village of Pulwama was admitted in the same hospital early last week after he complained of breathlessness.

He was shifted to SKIMS after his condition deteriorated. His other sample was collected there.

However, on Wednesday he died. Six days later, on Tuesday evening his sample also returned positive.

The family members were shocked when a medical team visited them and asked them to go for quarantine. "We were told in SKIMS that the sample collected in GMC Anantnag has tested negative," said a relative.

He said, today they were informed that his report was positive. "We performed his last rites keeping in view that the deceased was negative for the infection," the relative said.

He said the ablution of the deceased was performed without safety measures increasing the risk of contracting the virus further.

He said that the negligence on part of health and medical authorities can put many lives at risk.

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