The medicos and relatives of the patients infected by the novel coronavirus allege that the government is suppressing the number of positive cases in Tamil Nadu.
The medicos said that at least three patients have tested positive for the virus as on Sunday but, the State Health Department had announced only one positive case at the Stanley Medical College and Hospital. The 52-year-old patient hailing from Chennai had returned from the USA and landed in India on March 17. She did not have any symptoms on arrival but later developed symptoms after two days. She reported to the hospital authorities at the Royapettah Hospital and was referred to Stanley Medical College and Hospital.
The medical staff at the hospital said that the reports of the patient tested positive at the Kings Institute of Preventive Medicine two days ago and the sample tests were confirmed to be positive at the National Institute of Virology in Pune.
“We were not informed about the lab test results until Monday morning. The status was informed to us verbally and the reports were not shared. My mother was told that she had tested positive and will be under treatment for next 28 days at the hospital. However, they have not acknowledged the positive status of my mother either to the public or to the media,’ said the son of the patient. The relative of the patient added that there are two more patients at the hospital who have tested positive for the virus in the same ward. Even the medicos at the hospital also claimed that a greater number of patients have tested positive at the isolation ward at the Stanley Hospital.
However, only one case was reported to have tested positive by the officials from the State Health department. Despite the claims that all the private hospitals have been asked to keep isolation wards and treat the infected patients as per protocols shared by the government, the relatives of the 52-year-old patient were denied treatment at a private hospital in the city. When the attendees of the patient approached the private hospital for the treatment, the hospital authorities denied admitting those who tested positive. The issue regarding underreporting of the Covid-19 positive cases was further raised by the postgraduate students at the RGGH. ‘The lab test results of the number of samples lifted from the outpatient fever clinic were not revealed to us or the public. It is risky for us as we are in direct contact with the patient, while the people in general are also under the risk of infection,’ said a doctor on duty at the OP clinic.