Srinagar: The family of 67-year-old man, who became the first fatality of COVID-19 in Kashmir Valley, on Thursday regretted “victimization” over “baseless” allegations of hiding the travel history.
“It is quite unfortunate that we are being victimized for hiding the travel history which is absolutely baseless allegation,” the victim’s son said. “Let me be very clear, he had no international travel.”
On 18 March, he said he had a discussion on phone with the senior specialist of SKIMS about the patient and revealed his travel history.
“His advice was medication and isolation although I was of the opinion to screen him in view of travel history but was refused,” he said. The family, he said, then kept him in quarantine and managed him at home. “As he was not improving, we took him to JVC (Read SKIMS Medical College Bemina) on 21 March and again revealed the travel history. On the basis of travel history and symptoms, he was referred to SKIMS (Soura) for COVID-19 screening,” he said, adding, “So we took him to COVID-19 clinic where we again revealed the travel history in detail and a resident doctor discussed the case with the seniors who advised home quarantine and medication although I requested them to screen him for COVID-19 but was refused in view of no international travel (as was the guidelines that time),” he added.
Then he met the senior doctor in SKIMS, and requested him to screen the patient but was again refused because the elderly man had no international travel history.
“The doctor whom I spoke offered us admission or management at home in view of corona problem in hospital. So I took a decision to manage at home but his conditions were deteriorating at home once I saw him next morning,” he said, adding, “So I again called the senior specialist on the morning of 22 March and he advised me to take him to JVC as they were busy with corona drill”.
He said that family was absolutely helpless and “so we took him to SMHS Hospital where again we revealed the travel history, so on the basis of travel history they suspected COVID and the Resident doctor there had a discussion with his senior consultant about the symptoms and travel history which is all documented and was referred to CD Hospital.”
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“I am very thankful to CD HOSPITAL where he was urgently admitted and kept in isolation and screening for COVID-19 done the same day,” he added.
He said that his father was most pious person in the family. “Today morning he passed away leaving us devastated in this helpless situation,” he said, adding, “It is my humble request to all to pray for the departed soul!” (GNS)