Patients suffer as hospitals ask for COVID-19 negative certificate

People throng the Teku Hospital as corona negative report has been made mandatory by landlords

Rita Lamsal

May 29, 2020

5 MIN READ

Patients suffer as hospitals ask for COVID-19 negative certificate
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KATHMANDU: A patient, who had had an accident recently reached the Teku-based Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital a few days back seeking coronavirus negative certificated.

He was still in the ambulance, unable to sit on his own.

Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases (STID) Hospital is a hospital offering specialized service for the infectious disease. It does not have the resources required for the treatment of accident patients.

Dr. Shrawan Kumar Mandal, a Medical Officer at the hospital was baffled at the sight of an accident patient.

“It’s not a hospital for accident patients,” the doctor remarked in awe, “Why don’t you take him to other hospitals in the Valley?”

He feels sad to see that the hospitals troubling the patients in serious conditions sending to get the coronavirus negative report before initiating ordinary treatments.

The hospital executed the RDT test of the patient and sent the patient with the corona negative result.

This is a representative case. Dr. Mandal says they are busy dealing with such people who visit this specialized hospital merely to get the coronavirus negative result.

“As there are coronavirus cases without any obvious symptoms, it’s natural for hospitals to be ensured that the visitors are not infected with this virus. However, instead of admitting the patient first in the hospital, sending them to get their certificate is ‘inhumane’ and inconsiderate,” Dr. Mandal told Khabarhub.

He feels sad to see that the hospitals troubling the patients in serious conditions sending to get the coronavirus negative report before initiating ordinary treatments.

Dr. Mandal, a medical officer in the Teku based STID Hospital, works in the emergency ward of the hospital.

The explosive number of coronavirus cases has put the Teku-based STID Hospital under stress as the crowd is growing unmanageable there.

STID Hospital runs OPD from 9 am to 2 pm every day except on holidays. Considering the symptoms, travel history, etc. the hospital runs RDT and/or PCR method as per necessity.

RDT result comes faster than PCR. The landlords in the Valley skeptical about their tenants’ health demand the latter to produce health certificates, the people with different ailments seeking treatment in other hospitals also visit Teku hospital for coronavirus negative report.

Dr. Mandal thinks denying medical treatment for patients in the hospital just because they do not have coronavirus negative results inhumane and irrational as providing coronavirus test results instantly is not possible at present. He spends considerable time in counseling such as panicked patients.

He is sad to see the people crowding in the hospital waiting for the result till late night as test result takes time.

“PCR test is not easy, after collecting the sample, we proceed the test but it’s more complex than other tests,” Dr. Mandal said, “We try to convince them to come the next day, but they wait as their health service and return to their home depends on the test result.”

24 hrs duty to save PPE

Although it’s nearly 5 months since the coronavirus pandemic first broke in Wuhan, China, the government here responded quite late. While the pandemic was stretching its grip to Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan and European countries, ironically, the Nepal government had issued notice asking foreign tourists to visit Nepal claiming the country was ‘safe’ from the pandemic.

Now it’s been five months of the outbreak and the government seems to be nervously seeking medical supplies from other countries.

Considering the scarcity of the most essential safety materials, the hospitals are still deploying doctors in 24-hour-duty so that the PPE can be spared.

Dr. Mandal, who has the experience of working at the Tribhuvan International Airport, with merely a mask and ordinary gloves, says the supply of health materials is better than in the beginning. However, dreading the scarcity of them again, the STIDH has arranged for 24 hrs duty of the medical staff.

“The hospital has arranged for 24-hour-duty and it is repeated on every 4 days. This saves the PPEs that the doctors need every day,” Dr. Mandal said.

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