Madras HC pulls up Chennai Corporation, Health Dept over missing COVID-19 patient

A two-judge bench was hearing the case pertaining to a 74-year-old COVID-19 patient who was referred to Kilpauk GH from Guindy and went missing a month back.
The representative image of a coronavirus ward
The representative image of a coronavirus ward
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The Madras High Court questioned the lack of coordination between the Chennai Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Health Department on handling coronavirus patients in the state. This was after the case pertaining to a 74-year-old missing COVID-19 patient came up for hearing before a bench of Justice R Kirubakaran and VM Velumani on Friday.

A 74-year-old coronavirus positive went missing from Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital over a month back. However, the search by police and the family members did not yield any result. Following this, the son of the missing man moved a habeas corpus plea seeking to produce his father.

During the hearing, the Chennai Corporation submitted a report before the division bench. In the report, Chennai Corporation stated that the limit of Corporation ends with identifying a COVID-19 patient from fever camps and taking them to a hospital in an ambulance. The patient will then come under the control of the Health and Family Welfare Department.

However, the report added that the police and family members are searching for the missing patient.

The bench then raised questions whether there was coordination between Chennai Corporation and Health Department and if there is a registry to record the transport details of patients.

The Corporation said that there is adequate coordination between the Health Department and the Corporation. The Corporation also said that they will produce the registry before the court. The Court posted the case for hearing next week.

According to reports, KS Adikesavan was suffering from cough immediately after the funeral of his mother on June 6. By June 9, since the cough became severe, he was taken to the testing centre by his son, where the results came back positive. The patient was taken to Guindy for testing but was later referred to Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.

The patient did not have a mobile phone and on June 14, when his son went to Kilpauk hospital, they told him that there was no one admitted by this name. 

A complaint has been lodged with the St. Thomas Mount police station and Kilpauk police station. 

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