A private medical practitioner in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district has been booked for negligence for failing to report a suspected COVID-19 patient, who later succumbed to the infection.
The death of the 50-year-old woman at Mangaluru’s Wenlock Hospital marked the first fatality due to the pandemic in the coastal district. Her test results had arrived following her death on April 19. Upon inquiry, it was found Dr Sadashiv Shenoy of Navadurga Clinic had initially treated her on April 15 for pneumonia, reported local media.
Kannada daily Prajavani said the doctor had failed to advise hospitalisation of the patient even when her fever did not subside after four days of treatment. The doctor also failed to inform the health department of her symptoms and health condition, as mandated by the government.
Based on a complaint from health officials, Dr Shenoy was booked for negligence under section 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code. Nineteen primary contacts, including the husband and son of the deceased, and Dr Shenoy, have been placed under quarantine.
The district now has three active cases of COVID-19 while 11 persons have been discharged and one declared dead. The district administration has sealed seven villages so far. Inter-state borders with Kerala have been closed and only emergency cases are being allowed to enter the state.
With the number of active cases remaining low in the district since mid-April, the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the state government to exclude Dakshina Kannada district from its COVID-19 red zone list.