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Negligence finger at AIIMS Bhubaneswar

Violation of guidelines by delaying the notification of a virus positive patient who was son of a senior doctor

By Subhashish Mohanty in Bhubaneswar

  • Published 21.03.20, 4:27 AM
  • Updated 21.03.20, 4:27 AM
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar (Pic: AIIMS, Bhubaneswar)

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, is battling allegations by its own resident doctors that it had violated guidelines by delaying notifying local surveillance authorities about a coronavirus positive patient who was son of a senior doctor at the institute.

The AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) said it had brought the notice of the “gross negligence” by the institute to the Odisha government. The state has ordered a probe into the matter, a government official said.

The association in a memorandum addressed to the AIIMS Director said: “It has come to the notice that a patient ... aged 19 years was brought to the isolation unit and kept in the doctors room, with his travel history concealed. Also, the patient was not admitted for 12 hours.”

The patient tested positive on Thursday. By not revealing his travel history and delaying his isolation, the RDA said, the institute had increased the risk of the local spread of the coronavirus.

The association said: “We feel betrayed by one of our own. We also see the doctor in charge of the isolation unit as a partner in the crime in the case.”

An Odisha government spokesperson Subrat Bagchi said: “The matter is being looked into with utmost seriousness and government is keeping a watch on it.”

The patient has come in contact with 46 people and government has so far identified 43 people, the official said.

AIIMS director Dr Geetnjali Batmanabane told The Telegraph, “This is an attempt to defame the AIIMS. First of all the memorandum circulated to the media was not a signed one. We have followed all the guidelines of the Central government. The patient was kept in self isolation. His father who is a senior doctor is in self isolation. We have distributed N 95 masks to all our resident doctors.”

The Odisha government has stepped up its effort to lock down Bhubaneswar following detection of a second coronavirus positive patient in Bhubaneswar. It has decided to launch the odd even scheme, which will be introduced from Saturday. Under the scheme, the vehicles with odd last digit in the registration number will be allowed to ply on the road on Saturday and the next day the vehicles carrying the even number will be plying.