Death of other patients twice the Covid-19 victims | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 01, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:57 AM, July 01, 2020


Death of other patients twice the Covid-19 victims

Doctors say severe conditions led to the high number of deaths; patients’ relatives allege lack of quick response

Almost two-thirds of the treatment seekers, who died after admission to the Corona unit of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) during the last four months, were actually suffering from diseases other than Covid-19.

A staggering 91 of the total 613 patients, who were admitted to the Corona unit with Covid-19 symptoms since March, died so far.

Of them, 32 people were tested Covid-19 positive while 59 others came to the hospital with other complexities like asthma, heart diseases, and kidney failure, said the hospital's Assistant Director Dr Maniruzzaman Shahin, also in-charge of the unit.

Most of the patients who came to the ward had severe conditions, and so, the number of deaths is high, said doctors serving there.

On the other hand, several relatives and attendants of patients complained that very few doctors serve in the Corona unit and there is often lack of quick response for serious patients.

When a patient with Covid-19 symptom is admitted to the observation section of Corona unit, he has to wait for test report before starting proper treatment, said a few patients.

Amal Das, a cameraman of a private TV channel in Barisal city, alleged that his wife died within an hour after admission to the hospital due to delay in providing oxygen and essential medicines.

"She was taken to SBMCH's emergency corner with respiratory problems early Sunday, but on-duty doctors sent her to observation section of Corona unit instead of the medicine ward," he said.

Another patient, who was admitted for coronavirus infection in first week of June and released from the hospital one week ago, said very few doctors were seen at observation and other sections of Corona unit.

Often doctors monitor the situation using mobile phone instead of coming in person, said an attendant of a patient at the unit. 

​According to the doctors and patients of SBMCH, all those who were admitted to the emergency section with severe problems including respiratory and kidney problems were sent to the Corona unit. A couple of days later, after testing for coronavirus, they were sent to their respective wards.

Dulal Das, a 55-year-old patient from Kawnia area of the city, said he was suffering from respiratory problems but no doctor saw him for two days. Only nurses came to him when he needed oxygen.

Several patients complained that treatment is much delayed if they do not have Covid-19 test certificate.

Sudip Haldar, president of Indoor Doctors Association of SBMCH, said, "As a good number of people, including doctors, nurses and health workers were infected with Covid-19, the Department of Medicine and Orthopaedics was locked down two months ago, and we decided to keep the patients under observation to confirm whether they are infected."

"Only 97 doctors are currently appointed here against 224 sanctioned posts. Around 150 interne doctors are working with them. On an average, 20 doctors here are infected by Covid-19 every month and so, testing is essential to prevent spread of infection among doctors and others," said SBMCH Director Dr Bakir Hossain.

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