Rumours break trust between people and medical fraternity — Dr. Sedevi
Doctors clear allegations against hospitals; express the need to activate Epidemic Act
Dr. Sedevi Angami, Dr. Moatemjen, Dr. Victo Wotsa and Dr. Sharma during the press briefing at CMO office Dimapur on Wednesday. (EM Images)
Dimapur, Sep. 1 (EMN): Perturbed by unfounded rumours and allegations doing rounds amid Covid-19 pandemic, Director of Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR), Dr. Sedevi Angami said that its impact is quite serious as it breaks the trust between the people and the medical fraternity, “which is a lose-lose situation for everyone”.
He said this at a press conference on Wednesday, held at the office of Chief Medical Officer in Dimapur.
Highlighting the importance of trust, he said breaking it by wild allegations can be very damaging and create confusion. He added that spreading rumours on social media is not healthy as they are created by untrained person who lack knowledge about the pandemic.
‘Even in Naga tradition, we listen to both sides of the story before passing a judgement but on social media it is often only one-sided,’ he said while pointing out the need for an impartial enquiry.
The doctor said that he had shared with the district administration about the need to form a group consisting of professionals, lawyers, civil society organisations, and someone with integrity and wisdom, so that the group can initiate an enquiry without any partiality if people have grievances.
He shared that many social media users labelled doctors as crooks, which is a disservice. There may be some “bad fish” among doctors but there are those who are working really hard and this is very cruel for them, he added.
Details about Covid tests
Sharing some of the issues they have been facing, mostly with the public, the doctor informed that Covid testing has always been an issue and they currently use Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), TrueNat, and RT-PCR.
He said that RT-PCR test is expensive and takes time to get result, and so it cannot be used in emergency situation. ‘TrueNat is good but it takes about 4 to 6 hours to get the report, and so it can’t be used when an emergency patients comes in. However, the RAT test is quick and can get report within 15 minutes,’ he added.
He asserted that as per the guidelines of the government, a positive from RAT is considered positive. If a test is negative in RAT but the patient has high index of suspicion, then test must be repeated or go for higher test, he informed.
On allegations and rumours about false positive reports, he said that ‘nobody is keen to label a person as positive because thousands of doctors have died and nobody wants to be involved in treating Covid as far as possible. He added that ‘when we get negative result, we also find relief, and nobody is trying to make money out of a positive test result’.
‘People can’t take hospital records’
Sharing about dead body management, he stressed on the guidelines issued by the government and following certain procedure before the mortal remains of a Covid victim is handed to the family members.
“Following the guidelines, cleaning the body, preparing the body, clothes from the family, sealing the body and sealing the coffin, all these take some time,” he said, adding that “we cannot be in hurry and make mistake or cause accident”.
Responding to allegations that medical records were not given, Dr. Angami said that the patients have certain rights and responsibilities. ‘If a patient died, then death certificate, death summary and also the investigation record is given to them but the patients or relatives cannot take the hospital records as it is a legal documents and it can only be used by a law magistrate in court cases,’ he clarified.
On allegations against hospitals
On the recent allegation against the hospital by social media users, the director of CIHSR said that a court case has been filed and the concerned person will have to present in the court and so too the hospital authorities.
Two doctors from Zion Hospital and Research Centre also clarified about the recent two allegations doing round on social media. Another doctor from the same healthcare facility shared in frustration that that they were accused of manufacturing positive reports in the hospital “which is totally false”.
“We are just trying to protect the staff and other patients so that a Covid positive patient can be referred to Covid hospital,” he clarified, adding that false rumours have been obstructing their work and smooth functioning of the hospital.
Dr. Mhabemo Ovung, a consultant at Zion Hospital and Research Centre, also recalled how the facility was faced so much discrimination from the society after the first positive case was detected in the hospital last year. He said that they were treated so badly and “we were hurt and humiliated”.
‘High time to activate Epidemic Act’
The Chief Medical Officer of Dimapur, Dr. Moatemjen, also stated that false allegations and rumours against hospitals and medical doctors by social media users have been creating a bad image about the medical fraternity in the eyes of the public.
These things are happening because many don’t have basic knowledge about the Covid issue and ‘what practical things to be done in what situation’, he said, adding that when some people gather half-baked knowledge and upload on social media, “they swallow the whole thing”, and then form a bad image about the department.
“We have been at the receiving end for so long. I think it is high time the Epidemic Act be applied to those people spreading false rumours,” he said.
He also updated that at present, there are 35 Covid patients admitted in hospital- 16 in District Hospital Dimapur, 18 in CIHSR, and one in Covid care centre t at new DC complex.
According to government report, people belonging to 30-44 years age group has the highest positive rate in Dimapur and those above 60 years of age has the highest death rate. He also stated that patients with diabetes and hypertension co-morbidities have the highest death rate.