Declared COVID free, Budgam boy infects four family members

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Coronavirus - COVID-19
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SRINAGAR — “One of the best ways to influence people is to make them feel important,” this old adage was practiced by Block Medical Officer Magam who conceded to the request of a senior doctor at JVC SKIMS and declared a quarantined student COVID-19 free without waiting for the final report.

Well placed sources said that a 21-year-old student from Jawalapora village of central Kashmir’s Budgam district returned from Rajasthan and was quarantined in a building at Narbal like other travelers.

Block Medical Officer Magam collected his samples on 10th May and without waiting for the final report, allowed this student to go to home. BMO, Magam was too much courteous towards the student, owing to his proximity to a senior doctor.

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Sources said that on the request of this doctor, BMO Magam let the boy go but advised him to stay at quarantine in home. “BMO did it all illegally, probably with a hope that the report of the student will be found negative and nobody will come to know,” said a health professional.

The boy left the quarantine, went to home and interacted with his friends and neighbours. As luck would have it, the boy was tested positive a couple of days ago and today, four members of his family were also tested positive for COVID-19 infection.

“It was sheer negligence on part of Block Medical Officer that infected the family members of this student,” the medico said.

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The student as well as his family members have been put in isolation while hunt for his contacts has been launched.

Influence sometimes makes illegal as legal. A couple of days back, reports surfaced that a top official allowed some travelers from an influential family to go home, instead of sending them to administrative quarantine in Kashmir capital Srinagar.

When contacted, Block Medical Officer, Magam, Dr Taha admitted that he allowed the student to go to home. He, however, said that it was only miscommunication and judgment of error.

“Due to internet suspension, we got an incomplete report and I thought the student in question is COVID-19 free,” he said, adding that it was not his fault.

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