Tamil Nadu’s Covid-19 patient identification and treatment protocol drew flak on social media after a Twitter user recounted how a government hospital recommended home quarantine for her mother despite showing clear symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection.
The issue came into focus after Twitter user Swadi Prabhakaran in a post said that her mother, who had stepped out only twice a week for groceries, came down with a fever that was accompanied by cough and body pains. After a private hospital confirmed that the woman was suffering from coronavirus, the user sought the help of the government.
Acting on the advice given by the government through its helpline, Prabhakaran went to the city's Kilpauk Medical College. “I went to KMC Covid OPD and waited for 45 mins. Meanwhile, there were nearly 30 people outside the OP. I asked the security who told me they were all positive patients waiting…”
Prabhakaran said the doctor at the multi-speciality government hospital had advised her mother to stay at home quarantine. “When she told him there are three more people in the home and was sure they'd be positive, he said to get them tested only when they show symptoms…” her tweets read.
Following the tweets, Prabhakaran later posted an update that the Chennai Corporation officials appeared at their doorstep and that the entire family — but for her mother — will be tested for the virus.
P Vasanthamani, Dean of KMC, told CNN-News18 that the hospital was following strict protocols on deciding which patients should be home-quarantined. “Even for asymptomatic patients under 10 and above 50, we do not suggest home quarantine…” she said.
However, when explicitly asked about the case of Prabhakaran’s mother, the official placed the responsibility of screening and decision-making on the Chennai Corporation.