Provincial hospital declines to treat woman with COVID-19 symptoms

JANAKPURDHAM: Provincial Hospital of Province 2 in Janakpurdhan today declined to offer treatment to an impoverished Dalit woman suffering from high fever.

Initially, Marani Devi Sada, 45, of Mulabari in Dhanushadham Municipality was admitted to Godawari Modern Hospital for treatment this morning. However, the hospital referred her to the provincial hospital suspecting her of being the COVID-19 patient after measuring her temperature.

Doctors at the provincial hospital asked Sada, a chronic patient of heart ailment, to remain in the quarantine after seeing her referral letter from the Godawari hospital.

"No doctor conducted even normal health check-up on my mother," patient's daughter Kari Sada lamented.

I could not find any ambulance to take my mother to quarantine in Mithila Aayurved Hospital in Ganguli of Nagarain Municipality, 7 kilometres away from Janakpurdham. "Even the Red-Cross ambulance refused to transport my mother to the quarantine centre," Kari echoed.

With the help of local police, Sada was later transported to the quarantine centre in Nagarain.

Hospital Chief Dr Nagendra Prasad Yadav said that they had advised to take Sada to quarantine as health workers did not have personal protective equipment to treat her. “Province Hospital does not have ICU to treat COVID-19 patient and doctors do not have PPE”, Dr Yadav said.

According to Dr Yadav, sample swab of Sada has been collected and will be sent to Kathmandu for a test. If she tests positive, Sada will have to be taken to the Capital for corona treatment.

Province 2 has quarantine centres at 55 places with 872 beds. A total of 165 people are quarantined at various places right now, said senior health administrator Bijay Jha of the provincial hospital.

Jha further said that hospitals were facing acute shortage of PPE for doctors and health workers to treat corona patients in the province.