By Deepak Prasad Gautam, Birgunj, May 25: Preparations are underway to seal off the National Hospital in Birgunj as a patient that died in the hospital tested positive for COVID-19.
Cremation of the 70-year old has already been performed, but without following the due protocol set for COVID-19 death.
A meeting of the district disaster management committee also decided to start contact tracing, according to Lalit Kumar Basnet, assistant Chief District Officer of Parsa district.
Locals have complained the hospital made a serious negligence by handing over the body to the family before the report of the swab test came out although the samples were sent for the test.
Assistant CDO Basnet also said investigation had started into this matter as the hospital made a mistake by handing over the body to the family.
The ICU ward of the hospital had been empty since May 22 when they transferred the patients under treatment in the ward saying they needed to disinfect and purify the ICU ward.
The police have not allowed any person to go in the hospital from outside since Monday. Parsa district police office is reported to have directed police posts as soon as it was confirmed that the dead patient tested positive for the virus to take steps so that nobody got in the medical college hospital.
Madan Updhyay, medical superintendent of the Narayani hospital, said that all health workers involved in treatment, family members and others who participated in the cremation of the victim were told to remain in the quarantine and process was underway to take their swab samples for the test.
Infection of the novel coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, was confirmed 8 days after the 70-year old man surnamed Chaudhari, a resident of Bara Karaiya Rural Municipality-7, breathed his last at the hospital.
The septuagenarian was admitted to the hospital on May 15 and breathed his last while under treatment two days later on May 17 at 2 pm. The hospital handed over the body to the family within two hours for cremation.
PCR testing at the Narayani Hospital was halted at that time in lack of required chemicals and when the testing was conducted on May 21, the testing came out to be suspicious and the swab was then sent to the National Public Health Laboratory for confirmation. The PCR test at NPHL, Teku, confirmed about the infection of the novel coronavirus in the swab of the man, said Madan Updhyaya, medical superintendent of the Narayani Hospital.
A retired employee of Public Health Office, the septuagenarian was suffering from tuberculosis, asthma and pneumonia, and he was placed in the ventilator immediately after admitting him to the hospital for treatment. His swabs were collected before starting treatment and sent to the Narayani Hosital for laboratory test. But, he passed away before the report of the test finally came out.
"We would have waited for cremation until the report came out had the hospital said so. We performed the last rites as per our religion and now there is fear everywhere in the locality of the virus infection, all just because of the hospital," complained the son of the old man who succumbed to COVID-19.