New Delhi: A Chandigarh resident has posted a harrowing account of how his father-in-law died of COVID-19 in Delhi due to a series of “blunders” in the hope that the authorities will take corrective steps and other patients are spared the experience his family encountered.
The blunders ranged from a wrong “negative” test report to a delay in finding a hospital for him, to the lack of ventilators that prevented the family from shifting him to a better hospital.
Within two days of Sachan Deep Singh, uploading his post on Facebook, it has been shared by more than 39,000 people and more than 5,700 people have commented on it. Singh’s LinkedIn profile says he is a senior manager with a hotel room aggregator.
Singh’s post resonated with many as his focus was on offering relevant solutions rather than on apportioning blame.
Singh wrote of the chain of events from the day his 64-year-old father-in-law first developed fever on May 11-12 to his death on May 22. He said he was sharing the details “so that no other precious life is lost.”
As per the post, the family decided to get the tests done on May 17-18 when fever rose to 101 degree Fahrenheit and there was a “mild throat” condition. He said the family “tried umpteen number of labs (including some big names like Lal/SRL, etc.) for home collection.”
They did not want to expose him to others in case he had the disease, he said. But “no lab was ready to come home.”
It was through the “much glamourised Aarogya Setu app,” he wrote, that the family got an appointment at the “City Xray and Scan, Tilak Nagar” lab which performed the test at home. However, the report was “negative”.
As fever persisted and on May 20, the patient had breathlessness. The family tried to shift him to a hospital the following day. Without naming the hospital, Singh wrote:
“Hospital was hesitant to take him since he had COVID[-19] symptoms but since we had a negative report, they took him and started examinations and tests (including COVID[-19] test again). His sugar levels were abysmally high and were out of control.”
On May 22, the patient was put on ventilator and this time the COVID-19 test was “positive”. Singh termed this another blunder saying as soon as the hospital realised the patient was “positive”, it wanted the family to shift him to a COVID-designated hospital.
For this, they needed an ambulance with ventilator. “We tried almost all hospitals, including government hospital LNJP, and got only one answer that ventilators are not available!”
At 9.45 pm, when the family went to check on the patient, they were informed of his death. He and his wife were in Chandigarh. The man’s wife was alone in quarantine when he passed away.
Thereafter, Singh questioned how was it that when the PMO and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed that Delhi was well prepared with 250 ventilators and that no hospital can deny COVID-19 patients a bed, they could not find a single ventilator that night.
He also noted that the first COVID-19 test report on his father-in-law was “false negative” and led to a delay in the family deciding to shift him to hospital. Singh demanded that labs which provide such reports be delisted.
Singh also questioned the lack of information on ventilators, testing, labs which make home visits and hospital bed availability.
Incidentally, a couple of days ago, in a statement, Kejriwal had acknowledged that, “People also do not know where to go when they or someone close to them tests positive.”
He had assured that “in a couple of days we will have a system in place whereby every person will have information on who and where to approach.” However, as number of new cases and death in Delhi mount, people are yet to hear the details of these plans.
Deceased patient’s wife is now positive, searching for hospital
Meanwhile, Singh also tweeted that his mother-in-law has also tested positive and two of the private hospitals have stated that they do not have beds. Tagging Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the post, the concerned son-in-law asked: “Can you help?”
— Sachan Deep Singh (@Sachandeep) May 26, 2020