In the last 10 days, four staff from the Balasinor Covid-19 hospital in Mahisagar district have tested positive including one medical officer, two nurses and one lab technician, placing the district administration in a spot which is yet to establish epidemiological links in these cases.
The district health department has concluded that the infection did not spread from within the hospital but from outside.
“There has been no transmission within the hospital. We are trying to understand whether the medical staff were infected by the patients or had a contact history from outside their work space. The hotel staff member who tested positive first has no travel history or contact history. So they were mostly infected by the doctor from our hospital who tested positive,” said R B Barad, Collector Mahisagar.
On April 29, an employee of Akash hotel had first tested positive, where eight staff members of the hospital were lodged. Following this, 50 health workers have been tested so far including medical and paramedical staff working at the hospital. In the subsequent tests which were conducted, two more staff members of the hotel and four medical staff members of the hospital tested positive. The entire hotel was evacuated, sanitised and the hospital staff returned to stay on the premise after seven days. A doctor and nurse have so far been discharged after complete recovery.
With a surge in such cases of medical staff members from the hospital, a team of medical experts from Vadodara were also called in to conduct an audit. The team of medical experts from Vadodara had concluded that a ‘lapse in managing PPE kits’ could be a reason why the hospital staff members were infected.
The hospital at present is functioning with five medical officers, 10 staff nurses, three lab technicians, three pharmacists, one dietician and five other staff members apart from the hospital superintendent. There are no plans to transfer the operations to another hospital as of yet.
“Two of those infected have recovered and have been discharged as well. After the audit, all the recommendations will be duly followed and we are expecting no further cases from the hospital now,” the collector added. Apart from the 100-bed Covid-19 hospital in Balasinor, another 42-bed facility in Lunawada has also been readied.
However, after the lab technician tested positive from the hospital after a gap of almost a week on Saturday, no one from the hospital has been quarantined. “After the technician tested positive, no hospital staff members have been quarantined so far. Contact tracing is underway,” said superintendent of the hospital, D K Gohil. The technician was tested after he completed 14 days of his duty at the hospital.
The district at present has 45 positive cases of which 34 are active and one death. Of these 34 cases, 32 are admitted at the Balasinor Covid-19 hospital. According to the officials, all the 32 patients are asymptomatic and stable. The district which had also seen a major influx of migrant labourers back to the villages, has so far tested 1,109 samples for the virus.
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