File image Credit: EastMojo Image

A man in Thiruvananthapuram, completely unaware that his father had passed away five days earlier due to COVID-19, kept taking food and clothes to a hospital in Kollam for his father, which has resulted in a terrible mix-up, triggering a controversy over the handling of COVID patients in Kerala.

According to a report in The Hindu, the son, who is a head-load worker hailing from Kollam, wan under an impression that his father had been admitted at a Government Hospital in Paripally, and not aware of his father’s death, he kept taking food and clothes to the hospital, which surprisingly the hospital kept accepting and giving it to another COVID patient with the same name.

The mix-up came to light only when the man was shifted to a room, and the head-load worker realised that it was not his father.

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The deceased man was earlier admitted at the taluk hospital in Punalur on August 26, and was later shifted to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College 15 days later, after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the taluk hospital.

The Punalur hospital earlier informed the son that his father had been shifted to Paripally, where he learnt that his father was at the COVID treatment centre in SN College and he met his father then. But, later on the patient was moved to the District Hospital in Kollam, and when contacted, the son was told that his father was again moved back to Paripally on September 25. The Paripally hospital also gave him the wrong information that his father was admitted there, but he could not meet him as visitors were not allowed.

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Once the son realized that it was not his father, but some other patient admitted there, he had to make a number of enquiries to understand that his father had been moved to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. And by the time his confusion got cleared, his father has already passed away, on October 13, but the body was released only on October 18.

The hospital had the wrong address but the correct phone numbers of the family in their records, said the son. Although the son said that he was not going to lodge any complaints, the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan assured that the matter will be investigated.

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