Mumbai: Two negatives do not make a positive, as a 24-year-old woman awaiting breast cancer surgery recently found out. First, she was forced to wait for her operation because of the lockdown and then, she contracted the coronavirus during the wait. Now, even after having tested negative twice, the hospital is not ready to operate on her and wants her to wait another month, when she will be tested again.
The woman, a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh (UP), had come to the city for surgery, accompanied by her husband, a weaver of sarees. The operation was to be carried out at the Prince Aly Khan Hospital in Mazagon. However, a few days after the couple came to the city, the lockdown was announced.
"Because of the lockdown, we could not go ahead. On April 10, we finally met the doctor, who suggested my wife get tested for Covid-19. On April 13, a test was conducted on my wife and the very next day, I received a call from the civic body that my wife had tested positive.
She was then admitted to a Mumbai Central hospital while along with my other family members, I was quarantined at a hotel," said her husband. After she tested negative twice, on April 19 and April 22, she was discharged on April 24 and her family was let out of quarantine on April 28.
When the couple again approached the Prince Aly Khan Hospital for the operation, however, the hospital demanded she be tested for Covid-19 yet again. Accordingly, the family approached civic hospitals for the purpose. But they were turned away by the latter, as the woman had no symptoms.
When the family returned to the Prince Aly Khan Hospital, this time they were informed that the virus stays in the body for a month. Since the woman had tested negative on April 22, they would again test her on May 22 and if she were found negative, then she could undergo operation.
"We came to the city solely for this purpose and are staying with our relatives in Agripada. Our stay has been prolonged and what is the guarantee that surgery will take place on May 22," asked her husband.
According to Dr Sanjay Oak, CEO of the hospital, who is also head of the city's Covid-19 task force, "In the first 14 days, the virus level diminishes. But, since the woman has to undergo an operation and will be anaesthetised, it is a good idea to wait for two more weeks. On May 22, we will run tests on her and based on the results, we will proceed."