Pala: Health staff, panchayat officials and local residents remained on toes for over four and half hours to trace a 79-year-old COVID positive person who pushed aside his grandson and escaped from home.
The man, a resident of Puliyanoor, was found about 6 km away from his home after a massive search operation. Apart from the elderly person, his daughter, son in law , two grandchildren had also been tested positive on Thursday. The entire family was under home quarantine and receiving medical care.
The health officials had recommended COVID test for the elderly person. However, the man was reluctant. He left home at 8pm on Thursday returned only at 11pm.
Again on Friday, he left home at 5 am and in between got himself tested at the primary health centre at Ullanad. But he gave the wrong house name and telephone number. Since the name and address were correct, the primary health centre authorities were able to identify him. With his test results coming out positive, the health centre authorities tried to get in touch with the elderly man over the phone. However, they couldn’t get any response. Subsequently the panchayat officials were informed about his status.
Soon the panchayat officials visited the house and gave clear instructions to the family that when the elderly man returned home he should not be allowed to leave. On his return at around 4 pm, the grandson tried to lock the door of the room. But he pushed him aside and fled.
What followed was a massive search carried out by panchayat officials, staff of primary health centre and the local residents to trace him. It was only after the officials received a call that an elderly man was seen walking along the Pala-Ettumanoor Road near Kummannoor Karottakavala that they could trace him.
A police party from Kidangoor arrived at the spot and took him to the general hospital in Pala. Initially the authorities at the COVID Centre refused to admit him there. But later on the direction of district health authorities, the man was admitted to COVID Centre.
The general hospital authorities clarified that they had refused to admit the elderly person since there is no provision for direct admission of COVID positive patients in COVID Second Line Treatment Centres. Only those patients who are referred from COVID-19 First Line Treatment Centres are admitted and given treatment.
After the four and a half hour drama finally the officials, family members and residents heaved a sigh of relief as the COVID Centre staff put the elderly on treatment.