Peren fiasco: Similarity in name may have caused confusion, says official

DIMAPUR, JUN 5 (NPN) | Publish Date: 6/5/2020 1:18:20 PM IST

 Staff Reporter

As recent transfer of a COVID-19 positive patient to Jalukie under Peren district from Dimapur attracted criticisms from all sections of the society, Nagaland Post contacted Dimapur district medical department official and asked to shed light on the incident.
The official, on condition of anonymity, explained that the inadvertent mistake occurred when one female returnee (22 years), whose name was similar to another female returnee (19 years) boarded the bus to Peren. It was learnt that the both the females were lodged at the same hotel. As per the procedure, the official said all returnees whose samples were sent for COVID-19 test were separated from others and lodged at hotels identified for isolation. 
It was explained that this precaution was taken to avoid any possible spread of the virus at the quarantine centres in case any test sample returning positive. 
Presently, the official said returnees were lodged at 60 quarantine centres spread across Dimapur district. From these centres, the official said 105 samples were collected and sent for testing to Kohima and Dibrugarh, Assam on May 29, 2020.
Following the procedure, all 105 returnees were brought from their respective quarantine centres and lodged at 12-13 hotels. Coincidently, the official said the two females were lodged at the same hotel in Dimapur.
On June 2, 2020, the official said the first batch (50 samples) of test results was received, out of which one of the females (aged 19) tested negative.
Subsequently, the official said that an arrangement was made on June 3, 2020 as per the revised SOP to transport 17 negative returnees to Peren district. It was learnt that the names of those who were to be transported back to Peren were called out. 
When the name of the female, who tested negative, was called out, the official said the female (aged 22) whose test result was still awaited boarded the bus. 
“Maybe she thought that her name was called out. The officials present there must have thought that she is the person because both shared similar names. It must have created some confusion,” said the official. On June 3 at around 10 p.m., the official said the test result of the remaining 50 samples was received through e-mail. After finding a positive case in the group, the official said contact tracing began when it was found out that the female (age 22), who was tested positive, had already left for Peren while the other female was still at the hotel.
The official said Peren medical department was immediately informed and asked to isolate the positive patient and take necessary measures.  The official maintained that the unfortunate error occurred in spite of health professionals giving their best effort to contain the virus. 
Meanwhile, Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), Y Kikheto Sema, who is also the overall in charge of Dimapur district for all COVID-19 related activities, appealed the public to be more understanding and continue to support the Team Dimapur district as it was “shouldering the responsibility” for the rest of the state.
He also urged the people to support Dimapur District Task Force (DTF) under Deputy Commissioner Dimapur, Dimapur district medical department and police in containing any possible spread of the virus.
On Jalukie issue, he said the responsible department has informed that the mistake occurred as the two females had “similar names” for which there was some sort of confusion. However, Sema said the matter should be put to rest as the medical department has already regretted the “unintentional error”.

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