Coronavirus Outbreak: South Mumbai man sent back by Kasturba hospital tests positive

Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 12:15 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

He had gone to Delhi on March 8 and returned on March 12.

Kasturba Hospital still handles the bulk of all tests for the Coronovirus. File pic
Kasturba Hospital still handles the bulk of all tests for the Coronovirus. File pic

Despite continuous tests every day, several suspected cases are slipping through the gaps. One such patient is 45-year-old Nishant Kumar (name changed) who was told by Kasturba Hospital that he need not get tested but was found to be positive for Coronavirus five days later. Kumar's relatives said that while he has not travelled internationally, he did travel to Delhi on March 8 and returned on March 12. "A couple of days after returning, he had a fever, body ache, headache and cough. We took him to Saifee Hospital on March 16," said Kumar's brother."

Kumar's brother said: "The doctor there gave him an injection and asked us to visit Kasturba Hospital for testing. There they asked him a lot of questions and told him there was no need for a test."

However, Kumar's condition deteriorated over the next couple of days. "One day after we took him to Kasturba, he seemed to have got better but then he began vomiting and had dysentery. We visited Saifee Hospital again; his samples were sent for testing," Kumar's brother said. Kumar was admitted to Saifee Hospital from 18 to 21 March, when it was found he was infected.

Nishant Kumar was admitted to Saifee Hospital for three days before being quarantined at Kasturba Hospital. File pic
Nishant Kumar was admitted to Saifee Hospital for three days before being quarantined at Kasturba Hospital. File pic

A source at Saifee said that Kumar had a fever when he was admitted. "After he tested positive, his family wanted to get him admitted to a government hospital, so we referred him to Kasturba Hospital," the source said.

Kumar was admitted to Kasturba Hospital on Saturday and his family — wife, their four children, and his cousin who stayed with him at Saifee Hospital — are being tested for the virus. Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of the civic health department, said that Kumar has been isolated. "When he had come the first time, he did not fit the criteria (for testing)," Keskar said about Kumar being sent back. Kumar's name, however, was not mentioned in the list of six positive cases shared by BMC on Sunday.

Congress MLA Amin Patel said while doctors at Kasturba are doing all they can, there is an urgent need to test more people. "Compared to other countries, India is not testing enough people. The government should allow private laboratories to conduct tests immediately," he said. Currently, around 300 samples are getting tested daily.

Patel also highlighted the need for citizens to understand the importance of home quarantine. "People are sitting at tea stalls and promenades. The curfew has been imposed so that people stay indoors. Those who are home-quarantined need to follow regulations and the public has to avoid contact with other people," he said.

In another incident last week, Kasturba Hospital sent back the relatives — high risk contacts — of the 68-year-old maid who had tested positive. After the incident came to light, health department officials were sent back to the family, who was convinced to get tested at Rajawadi Hospital. The family tested negative.

300
Number of tests being carried out in Mumbai daily

Private labs to start testing

With the surge in the number of cases testing positive for Coronavirus in the city, the state government has been planning to allow private laboratories to test samples as well. The Indian Council of Medical Research has given permission to at least four private laboratories in the city including Thyrocare, Suburban Diagnostics Mumbai, Metropolis Healthcare and H.N Reliance Foundation hospital. Others including Lilavati, Kokilaben and Hinduja Hospital are next in line.

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