LAHORE: A young Covid-19 patient allegedly committed suicide in the Covid ward of the Mayo Hospital here on Friday.
The patient slit his throat with a knife at the North Medical Ward of the hospital after remaining unattended during his prolonged isolation.
The massive bleeding led to his immediate death, a senior official said. The administration called police who also investigated the incident, he said, adding that the preliminary inquiry showed that the patient was not mentally stable. He picked up a fruit knife and slit his throat probably in protest against his week-long isolation where he was attended by a doctor hardly once, the official said and added that the doctors had shifted him to the emergency ward with profound bleeding but failed to save his life.
According to some media reports, the deceased, 35-year-old Kashif, belonged to Gujranwala. The health secretary took notice of the incident and constituted an inquiry committee, headed by Additional Secretary Health Amir Ghazi. The committee was directed to submit its report as soon as possible to decide whether any negligence was behind the incident. The secretary also issued directions to the heads of all the government teaching hospitals to take care of the Covid patients to avoid such incidents in the future.
The official said the treatment protocol for the Covid patients in the isolation wards of the public hospitals had been a matter of serious concern. Most of the patients were left unattended by the doctors during their isolation period that would sometimes exceed from two to the four weeks, depending on severity of the infection.
He said the patients had to face psychological issues as well due to panic as well as unfriendly atmosphere of the Covid wards. There were numerous complaints that the patients were largely left at the mercy of either paramedics or the nurses.
A similar incident in March last year in the Mayo Hospital had sparked backlash when an elderly Covid patient had died after being neglected by the medics for many days.
His arms and legs were tied with a rope and put at the mercy of the guards. A video footage into the incident later went viral on social media, prompting Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to launch a probe into the incident; however, the report had exonerated all the staff, including paramedics, guards and the medics from charges of any negligence.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2021