‘Ran From Pillar to Post to Get My COVID-19 Test in Odisha’

This entire process has been very scary, even though I took all the precautions to the best of my abilities.

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My Report
3 min read

Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Video Producer: Aliza Noor

When we talk about COVID-19 patients, we are mostly concerned with whether they tested negative and recovered. I, however, want to talk about my experience in getting myself tested and thereon, the hurdles in getting my test report for the same in Paradeep, Odisha.

This entire process has been very scary. I took all the precautions to the best of my abilities but there is no away to know the source of my symptoms. It all started with fever, dry cough, body ache, weakness, loss of smell and appetite. I wasn’t sure if it was COVID-19 or the seasonal flu in monsoons.

A doctor recommended me to take antibiotics, which I did. After four days, my fever drastically reduced but the rest of my symptoms were still present which made it scary.

Administration’s ‘Lackadaisical’ Handling

I tried to get myself tested on 24 July. I also called the state helpline, the ANM (Auxillary Nursing Midwife) in my area and the doctors to convey to them that I had to get tested in the next two days to be sure of the problem.

Meanwhile, I was isolating and taking all the precautions. But it took 5 days to get myself tested.

On 27 July, they told me the doctor was not present so I returned from the centre. The next day, they came up with the excuse that they were not testing that day.

On 29 July, it had been almost two weeks since I got my symptoms. I was persistent and finally got a swab test at the hospital with the doctor’s referral.

I was also given the option to travel in an ambulance to the testing facility but I managed on my own on a two-wheeler because multiple suspected COVID-19 patients were brought to the testing facility in one ambulance.

Hence, the ambulance would have increased my risk of exposure to another suspected patient.

Running From Pillar to Post to Get My Result

After the test, I was told that after three days, ie Saturday (1 August), I had to come to collect my report.

The Health Centre where I got the doctor's referral from is also a government hospital — ’Atharbanki.’ Their doctors started testing positive, following which the hospital was sealed.

So once again, the delay began. When I sent somebody to collect my reports, they said the reports are not available. On Monday, 3 August, it was Rakshabandhan, so the hospital was closed.

The hospital refused to hand out the reports on 4 August too. After looking for some confirmation on whether my test result was positive or negative, I was told that it would have been negative, else there would have been an ambulance at my place for me. 

I could not accept that speculation.

On that day, at around 3 pm, I went and got the report myself. Thankfully, I had tested negative.

Here is my problem with the whole process: if the district administration is going to take so long for someone to get tested and then get their reports, a lot of people are at risk of getting infected in the process.

Hence, I hope the hospital works on it and minimises the risk to the suspected patients.

(The Quint reached out to the Health Centre for a response but they refused to answer any queries.)

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quininquires into the claims/allegations from all parties beforepublishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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