Many Delhi patients treated in N Karnataka hosps

“Covid treatment is simple and not like a complex surgery. Basic oxygen support, availability of drugs such as steroids and constant follow up on saturation levels will do (Image used for representational purpose)

BENGALURU: Doctors in North Karnataka districts say they have treated several Covid-positive persons who flew down from Delhi when infections peaked there a few days ago. Amid lack of stringent scrutiny at airports, many of these travellers tampered with the PDFs of their Covid-positive reports or even evaded medical checks, they claim.
A scientist travelled from Delhi to Gadag when he turned Covid positive in mid-April and was treated at a private hospital. The scientist, who works in a central government-run institution, took the flight after he developed breathlessness.
“Many people have come to Karnataka without being checked for Covid reports. There have also been instances of old RT-PCR negative reports being tampered with and dates manipulated for travel purpose,” says Dr Pavan Patil, who heads Dr NB Patil hospital in Gadag. The hospital has also seen more than 10 patients from Bengaluru, who rushed to Gadag seeking beds.
“Covid has reversed the trend in medical tourism. Now we are seeing many from metropolitan cities visiting smaller towns seeking beds,” said a doctor from a Belagavi private hospital, who has treated at least 30 wealthy patients, who came to his hospital from Delhi and Maharashtra.
“Covid treatment is simple and not like a complex surgery. Basic oxygen support, availability of drugs such as steroids and constant follow up on saturation levels will do. Repeated checks of DDimer test to detect blood clots help in preventing heart attack and stroke. If available, Remdesivir and convalescent plasma therapy will help only if administered in the initial stages,” the Belagavi doctor told TOI.
A majority of the patients from Noida and Delhi came to him in the first two weeks of April, the doctor added.
Dr Madhusudhan Kariganur, a past president of the state branch of Indian Medical Association and from Siraguppa in Ballari, recalls the case of a techie who arrived from Delhi. “The man in his early 20s was asymptomatic and was in home isolation. But his status was positive when he arrived,” he said. The doctor added that patients do not realise they are carrying a highly infectious virus and the situation in Delhi is pushing them to seek treatment elsewhere.
These instances show absolute lack of patient/contact tracing in places like Maharashtra and Delhi where cases surged last month. “Most of those seeking treatment have their parents or in-laws staying here, who block the bed just before arrival of the patient. For us, they are patients and we treat them. But the fact is that when a Covid patient moves around, transmission will only increase. Sadly, most of them are using public transport like flights,” rued a doctor from Bidar.

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