What's in a name? It turned out to be a lot in Assam's Darrang district as a COVID-19 patient was discharged from the hospital instead of a recovered person due to confusion over their similar-sounding names. Officials on Saturday said the incident occurred two days ago when authorities of the Mangaldoi Civil Hospital were calling out the names of 14 recovered people for their release.
The COVID-19 patient responded to a name sounding similar to his, which was in fact of a recovered person from his Dalgaon Sialmari village. He was then discharged instead, they said. But the hospital authorities quickly realised their mistake and sent an ambulance to bring the COVID-19 patient back to the medical establishment the same night, the officials said.
The patient, fortunately, tested negative for COVID-19 in a test conducted on Friday and was discharged along with the person in whose place he was released earlier, they said. Hospital authorities said that the mistake was caused due to similar-sounding names of the two persons and also because their faces were concealed by masks.
Darrang Deputy Commissioner Dilip Kumar Bora has ordered an inquiry into the incident and declared the mistakenly discharged person's house a containment zone. Swab samples of his family members have been collected and sent for tests.
Assam has reported over 3,600 COVID-19 cases so far, of which over 2,000 are active, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. Eight persons have died of COVID-19 in the state so far. Of them, four succumbed to the disease this week.