False COVID death: Health dept admits to goof-up

SHILLONG, July 25: An embarrassed Health department on Sunday admitted that miscommunication between Shillong Civil Hospital and the State COVID cell led to a youth from Ri Bhoi being wrongly declared to have died from COVID-19.
It may be mentioned that Stanborlang Dohtdong (18), a resident of Byrwa village in Ri Bhoi was named among the 21 patients who had succumbed to coronavirus as per the daily death report issued by the Health department on Friday.
The report had mentioned that Stanborlang was admitted at Shillong Civil Hospital on Friday and died on the same day due to COVID-19 pneumonia with comorbidities.
Unfortunately, the youth passed away on Sunday at Shillong Civil Hospital.
When contacted, a senior Health official informed that she had received a message from Shillong Civil Hospital and since she was mostly getting messages related to COVID-19 deaths, she forwarded the message to the people who feed the daily COVID-19 death information report in the system. “I did not realise that Shillong Civil Hospital had submitted the report to inform that Stanborlang was suffering from Japanese Encephalitis. Such information was supposed to be shared with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP),” the senior official informed.
Admitting her mistake and taking responsibility for the miscommunication, she said that it is very difficult to detect the error since everything is fed into the system.
The senior official also said that she had personally gone with the Joint DHS in-charge of Shillong Civil Hospital to apologise to the family for the mistake.
“I had told them that this was not done with any bad intention,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the CSWO has expressed shocked over the false report of COVID-19 death. CSWO president, Agnes Kharshiing said that the government should immediately compensate the family of Stanborlang since the mistake has resulted in immense trauma and shock to the family.

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