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March 29, 2020

Corona patient’s death in Mayo hospital: Inquiry panel claims patient died of heart attack


March 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The family of Muhammad Hanif — Covid-19 patient who died in Mayo Hospital Friday claims he never had any cardiac disease. But the Punjab government’s inquiry committee in its initial findings has termed the cardiac arrest main cause of his death.

On Friday, a video clip of Muhammad Hanif had gone viral on social media where he was shown crying and begging for help. However, no one from the medical staff came to rescue him. The issue was raised during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s media briefing who assured that an independent inquiry would be carried out to find out the facts.

However, the inquiry committee, which will submit its report tomorrow, was briefed that Hanif was given due care and the medical staff attended him regularly. As per the committee, his cause of death is not corona but the heart attack as there were no symptoms of corona-related death.

Professor Dr Mehmood Shaukat — Chairman Corona Expert Advisory Group of the Punjab government while talking to The News said the committee has examined the patient’s file and questioned all the relevant medical staff. However, after going through all the evidence the committee in its initial findings has concluded that the patient died due to massive cardiac arrest. “Corona was not the cause of his death”, commented Prof Mehmood.

“It doesn’t look like a corona-related death. Covid-19 symptoms are irreversible and there are no chances of recovery if a patient develops the coronavirus symptoms. In Muhammad Hanif’s case, he showed recovery after dropping his oxygen at 3:25am. He was nebulised thrice and provided oxygen after which he recovered within an hour. Then he went to the toilet at 10:00am. This shows he recovered well after his early morning oxygen drop. The committee is convinced that cause of his death was heart attack not corona because Covid-19 is a progressive disease it doesn’t give a chance of recovery and it is medically proven phenomenon”, commented Professor Mehmood.

“Our task was to determine whether Muhamad Hanif’s cause of death was corona or something else. Presumptively, corona wasn’t the cause of his death. A medical consultant had visited the ward as per routine at 11:30am whereas the nurses regularly updated the patient’s file. This shows the hospital staff did not leave him unattended”, said Professor Mehmood.

Muhammad Hanif — a retired Lahore High Court (LHC) reader got his Covid-19 test from Chughtai Lab last Sunday (March 22). His test was delivered on Tuesday at 8:00pm. According to Chughtai Lab’s test, his result was ‘positive’.

Nazir — brother of Muhammad Hanif while talking to The News said after his test they took him to Mayo Hospital the same night at 11:00pm where the hospital management admitted him to the North Ward specified for the corona patients.

“We weren’t allowed to visit the corona ward. However, we were in contact with him via mobile phone. My brother informed us that doctors are giving him Panadol tablets only and nothing else. He remained in the hospital for two days. Then we came to know that he is no more with us”, commented Nazir.

When asked whether he was a heart patient, Nazir said he never showed any such symptoms. He never was a heart patient. After his report came positive, it was the family who contacted the hospital management and informed about Muhammad Hanif’s COVID-19 test.

“The hospital management cooperated with us at the time of handing over the dead body. The medical team embathed him, put him in the coffin and took him to the graveyard. The authorities allowed us (at least seven persons) to offer his funeral prayer and then buried him”, he commented.

Mayo Hospital’s Spokesperson Dr Salman Kazmi while talking to The News said the inquiry is yet to be finalised, therefore, he cannot comment on the issue whether he died of medical staff’s negligence or there was any other reason.

It is pertinent to mention here that Muhammad Hanif was found dead in the hospital’s toilet Friday.

The other patients in the corona ward of the hospital narrated that Hanif continued calling doctors and nurses for hours in the night. However, despite repeated request of other patients no one came to help him until he fell from the bed.

The hospital staff then sent sanitary workers who tied him to the bed. At 10:00am, the staff unfastened his hands so that he could go to the washroom. However, after almost half an hour the hospital staff found him dead in the washroom.