Over a month after the four-month-old baby in Kozhikode district of Kerala passed away after being tested positive for coronavirus, her parents have now alleged that their daughter died due to medical negligence and not from COVID-19.
Naifa Fathima, daughter of Asifa and Ashraf from Manjeri of Malappuram, died on April 24. She was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on April 22. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja had said that the child, who had congenital heart disease and weak lungs, was not responding to treatment and succumbed to a heart attack in the early hours of April 24 at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, recording the fourth death in Kerala.
â€śI strongly believe that my child died of medical negligence and she did not have COVID-19. They (the hospital authorities) did not give us any further test results and are trying to hide their negligence during the treatment in the name of COVID-19," Asifa alleged at a press meet on Wednesday.
The family alleged that after the first test on April 22, two more tests were carried out â€” on April 23 and after Naifaâ€™s death. However, the family claimed that they have not received the results of these tests yet, although some health officials allegedly told them that the two results were negative.
â€śExcept for the initial test, all the other tests were negative. Around 33 people who were in contact with my child were tested and all of them were negative. We strongly believe that the death was not due to COVID-19. They are not ready to give us the test results,â€ť Naifaâ€™s father Ashraf told the media.
The family also alleged that the hospital authorities did not inform the family about the first test result. "The first result, where the samples turned positive, came around 6 pm in the evening and they informed us only the next day, on May 21, at 8 pm. They hid the results for about 26 hours. We came to know that they held the results from us through the Chief Minister's press meet on May 22,â€ť Ashraf alleged.
They also alleged that no precautionary measures were advised to the childâ€™s mother, who was always with the infant.
The family said that they wanted to know the exact reason for Naifaâ€™s death and also asked for clarification on why they were not informed about the test results for about 26 hours.
The health department has not been able to trace the source of infection in this case. According to reports, Naifaâ€™s uncle had returned from abroad, but the family denied having not interactions with him.