Coronavirus Pune: No testing kits available, no social distancing; a citizen narrates ordeals at swab collection centre

Sakal Times News Desk
Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Pregnant woman, senior citizens and young children all alike, no social distancing norms followed. Doctors waiting for the Wi-Fi connection for accessing mobile apps while patients waited for the swab sampling kits to arrive.

Pune: Pregnant woman, senior citizens and young children all alike, no social distancing norms followed. Doctors waiting for the Wi-Fi connection for accessing mobile apps while patients waited for the swab sampling kits to arrive. Miseries only compounded for already unwell and disturbed citizens as they waited in a hopeless situation.

When contacted over the helpline numbers released by Divisional Commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar, the control room personnel asked to wait some more time. About three hours later, the kits arrived, and the medical staff collected the swab samples after that. A patient, who doesn't wish to be named, experienced this at the Baburaoji Sanas Kanyashala behind Kamla Nehru hospital on Wednesday morning.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has asked citizens to get tested for COVID-19 if they have any symptoms like fever, cold, cough or body pain. When citizens visit the swab collection centres started in each ward of the PMC, the situation looks grim. 

About 50 to 100 citizens were waiting for the testing kits since Wednesday morning, but there was no clarity about when the kits would arrive and whether the citizens have to wait or go somewhere else.

While narrating the incident, Alok (name changed) told Sakal Times, "I had a fever and cough for two days, and I thought that I should get tested for COVID-19. So I went early in the morning to the swab collection centre at Sanas School near Kamla Nehru Hospital. There were already many patients waiting there to get tested. Sadly, no one was following social distancing norms. I had to plead many times to keep the distance between two individuals."

Alok now fears that even if he hadn't contacted the virus in the first place, his experience at the centre while waiting alongside prospective positive patients now increased the chances. 

Meanwhile. "The doctor in charge was busy with enabling a Wi-Fi connection so that he could access mobile apps… When I asked about the testing procedure, I was told that kits were unavailable and I, will have to wait till they arrive. I got my name and mobile number registered and tried to give my full address to the staff but to my surprise, they asked only for the area name," he aded

Giving more details about his ordeals, the further added, "I tried to call the helpline numbers published in newspapers and other social media platforms by the district administration. The control room staff was cooperative but they said that they can't tell when the kits would arrive. They asked me to wait for some more time." 

That "some more time" eventually ended after three hours. The testing kits arrived from Naidu hospital in the afternoon.

"After three hours, a van from Naidu hospital came and the testing arrived in the afternoon. Half my day was spent waiting for a test that took five minutes. The throat swab was collected and I was told that the report would arrive in 24 hours. I also received a message on my mobile informing me that the sample has been sent for testing," a distraught Alok, who has his hopes pinned on being tested negative, concluded.

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