Srinagar:  In a major gaffe, the Baramulla health authorities put the lives of many villagers of different districts at high risk after first declaring ‘seven foreign returned MBBS Kashmiri girl students’ as ‘negative’ and then picking them up from their homes within 24 hours as they were actually ‘COVID-19 Positive’.

On MAY 26, the Bangladesh returned female students quarantined in Baramula were issued medical certificates as “COVID-19 negative” and discharged from the Quarantine Centre.

But, to the utter shock of these students, they were picked up by the health teams from their homes within 24 hours and sent to Baramula quarantine center again. The joy of having tested negative for COVID-19 twice turned out to be short lived, as the girls had come in contact with many others too.

Notably, on MAY 12, a flight carrying 160 MBBS students returning from Bangladesh were sent to different quarantine centers in Kashmir. Some students were sent to Baramula and their samples were taken on MAY 13. On MAY 14, all those quarantined in Baramula Quarantine Centre were declared negative. They were asked to continue quarantine till their next sampling.

“On MAY 23, they took our samples again. Within 48 hours we were again declared negative. We heaved a sigh of relief and thanked almighty for saving our lives as next day we were all set to go home”, said a student requesting anonymity.

As per the directions of the administration, these students were sent to their respective homes on May 26 and asked for home quarantine. The medical certificates of the students also mentioned the instructions of home quarantine, which they were asked to follow.

“I was shocked to hear this! We were given medical certificates and asked to remain in home quarantine. Our samples tested negative as stated by the administration. There was no other sampling after MAY 25, how come we turn positive overnight?” asked another student now quarantined in Baramula again.

Ironically, no one from the local administration had any information about this issue.

When contacted, Chief Medical Officer Baramula, Dr Deeba Khan denied any such negligence. She said over the phone, “I am in a meeting and busy right now but, there is no such issue at all”, she said.

Meanwhile, the respective district administrations have asked the family members of these students for home quarantine till their sampling was done.  

“These families are now under home quarantine and their samples would be taken within five days as per protocol”, said an official from the health department. 

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