Patients at an isolation ward in Chandigarh wash hands in and even drink water from fungus laden wash basins, with cockroaches roving on it, alleged councillor Gurbax Rawat, who received pictures of the contaminated basin by a COVID-19 suspect admitted at the isolation ward. While the Chandigarh administration preaches of high standards of hygiene and sanitisation to be maintained, the picture of the isolation ward at Government Multi Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 presents a different picture.
Councillor Gurbax Rawat, who demanded that administration must look into the matter, said, the state of hygiene of the wash basin was intolerable and action should be taken. “I was shocked to see it as the suspected patients sent me pictures. When huge funds are being spent on disinfectants, why can’t they improve the existing infrastructure. I am not saying that you introduce something new, but the existing things should be improved. One cannot even think of puking in these washbasins, should not talk about washing hands or drinking water,” she said.
Rawat added, “Do you think a patient from the colony can afford to take a bottle of mineral water from the market. They will drink water from these shabby and unhygienic washbasins. Not only COVID-19, they may also attract other diseases, the way the condition is. Cockroaches, fungus and so much dirt in these washbasins.”
While a board saying ‘Go inside only after washing hands’ is installed near the ward, a staff member said on the condition of anonymity that there is no soap dispenser at the washbasin.
“Isn’t it risky and unhygienic to use the same soap again and again. When they are spending funds, at least hospitals can have soap dispensers. There are chances of spread of infection in the hospital. You can well imagine about the other facilities here,” the councillor said.
Residents said an inquiry into the matter be ordered and accountability of officials be fixed.
Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh, Baljinder Singh Bittu said that washbasins and washrooms are the most sensitive places where there are chances of spread of infection and should be checked.
“In hospitals, proper sanitisation should take place repeatedly at washbasins and cleaning of washrooms should be ensured. Here there are chances that infection can be spread,” he said.
Dr G Dewan, Director Health Services sent pictures of clean ward when contacted. “We have a robust system. It is cleaned in three shifts and we are updated daily. No patient has complained about it,” he said. When the DHS was sent pictures of the unclean washbasins as submitted by the councillor to the administration, he did not comment.
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