Mayo Hospital Doctor Accuses Punjab Govt Of Hiding Covid Deaths
LAHORE: Amid some visible improvement in the Covid situation in the country, government and health practitioners have advised the public to keep following the coronavirus SOPs vigilantly to avoid another spike. In Punjab, restaurants have recently been opened and Lahore’s MM Alam Road is now seen occupied by families and individuals thronging the cafes.
While this improved situation is encouraging, some questions pertaining to the initial handling of the pandemic, especially in Punjab, remain unaddressed.
Dr Shah Jahan, a member of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) who works at the Mayo Hospital, has accused the hospital’s administration and the government of massively underreporting the coronavirus deaths in Punjab in the initial days of the outbreak.
He said that 20 coronavirus deaths that took place at Mayo Hospital in April went unreported as the official date concealed the numbers. While talking to Naya Daur, he said that there was no mechanism to follow up the cases of suspected coronavirus patients who succumbed to the illness before their COVID results came out
“Patients who are admitted after coronavirus symptoms and died before they were tested positive were not counted as suspected coronavirus victims. The administration strictly avoided following up these cases”, he told Naya Daur.
Shahjahan fears that a large number of the deceased who died before testing positive were in fact coronavirus patients. Thus, it is likely that the official number of deaths in the province is much less than the actual number.
He further said that this attempt to hide the severity of the coronavirus crisis may have something to do with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initial stance against the lockdown.
“The family members of the suspected patients who pass away do not seek their test results either, and prefer not to know if the deceased died of coronavirus”, he said, pointing to the stigma associated with Covid patients.
Dr Shah Jahan further said that contrary to its claims, the government has not given a raise to doctors treating the patients of coronavirus. He added that the provincial government’s announcement in this regard was false as the amount declared incentive by the government was actually the monthly salaries of the doctors.
PPE distribution selective:
Dr Shah Jahan said that only 10 per cent of the doctors at Mayo Hospital had been provided personal protective equipment (PPE) by the authorities. He said that the government had given PPE to only those doctors who are performing duties at the ward designated for coronavirus patients. The doctors deployed at other high-risk wards of the hospital (where coronavirus patients are treated before they are admitted to the COVID ward) were not facilitated by the government.
“Almost every coronavirus patient who is brought in for treatment is first taken to the emergency, where doctors did not get the protective gear from the government”, he said.