The difference in opinion of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)’s administration and its department of community medicine and school of public health with regards to recommendations and projections made about the Covid-19 outbreak once again came to the fore on Wednesday.
A day after a team headed by Dr JS Thakur, a professor in the community medicine department, presented its interim report before the UT administration, comparing the spread of infection in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum and Chandigarh’s Bapu Dham Colony, the PGIMER in an official release stated that the Chandigarh authorities had not asked the institute to carry out any survey of comparing the parameters between the two areas.
The release, which was issued even as the report has not been made public, further stated: “We cannot compare different colonies of different magnitude without comparing the ultimate outcome of patients coming out of these. Presently, the outcome of patients who have come from Bapu Dham Colony to the PGIMER has been excellent.”
NOT A FIRST
This is the second time since April that the PGIMER has issued such a “clarification”.
Earlier, a controversy had erupted when Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, citing a study by PGIMER experts, had projected that Covid-19 will likely infect 58% of the country’s population
The institute was quick to issue a press note and clarified: “The PGIMER, Chandigarh, is not aware that any expert/faculty member from the department of community medicine and school of public health of the Institute has carried out any (such) study/estimate.”
Later, a showcause notice was issued to Dr Shankar Prinja, who serves as an additional professor at the department and had provided assistance to the Punjab government.
In the fresh controversy, a four-member team has presented around 18 recommendations to the UT administration on containment of outbreak in the congested Bapu Dham Colony, which accounts for Chandigarh’s 65% confirmed cases.
“Yes, we have briefly mentioned about Dharavi and Bapu Dham Colony situation in the report and the infection rate in both areas,” Dr JS Thakur said before the PGIMER put out an official release. However, he did not respond to calls later.