A day after Covid-19 tests of a doctor and staff nurse, working in the same ICU at a private hospital in Sector 21 Panchkula, came out positive along with at least three other patients who tested positive the same week, health authorities have decided to create a comprehensive and standardised policy applicable to all private hospitals in the district.
The step, says CMO Dr Jasjeet Kaur, has been taken keeping in view “the community spread in certain areas of the district and a sudden increase in numbers” and to check the spread of infection inside hospitals. “We cannot let hospitals become hotbeds for the virus. The time has come to develop a strategy and make it applicable at all places,” she added.
A hospital infection committee that was formed on Sunday, spent Monday at the Alchemist hospital in Panchkula to determine the source of the infection. “We vacated all areas of the Alchemist hospital today. Alchemist is an old hospital with a lot of footfall in their ICUs and OPDs. It has become very difficult to pin point the exact origin of the infection. We will be sampling at least 25 persons including doctors and staff and patients tomorrow itself,” said Kaur.
Patterns of cases that have emerged from the hospital are being drawn to assess whether it was a spread inside the hospital itself. The team is yet to submit a final report to the authorities on Tuesday, according to which action will be taken.
Sampling to be increased by 50-75 per cent
In a bid to run its testing facility at full capacity and identify cases at the very beginning, the health department altered its sampling strategy Monday.
In a meeting held between senior officials, it was decided that the department will now conduct as many 300 testes per day, double the previous numbers. The department aims to achieve the feat by weekend.
While all travellers, amounting to an approximate 50 per day, are already being sampled, the heath administration has decided to also test all employees travelling from other districts to Panchkula daily.
The step comes after at least two such employees including a police inspector at the Haryana police headquarters and a staff nurse at a private Panchkula hospital tested positive in the past three days.
To achieve the same, letters will be sent to all government department heads to identify such employees and send lists to the civil hospital. They will then be called for samples.
Similarly, all pregnant women in their third trimester, especially those due to give birth by July end too will be tested. ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers will be asked to prepare lists of such women, who will all be tested either at the polyclinic, Sector 26 facility or the Urban Health Centre, Sector 16. These centers will be reserved only for pregnant women.
The health department is also set to launch sampling for all high risk population (those who go out too often or have high exposure jobs such as grocery store owners) to assess any community spread. The sampling will be conducted in a phased manner, sector by sector.
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