After a seventh patient of COVID-19 was reported on Tuesday, a few of his primary contacts, including his 55-year-old father and 50-year-old mother both, were tested for the diseases in Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 on Tuesday and both tested negative. On Monday, the 21-year-old patient’s brother too tested negative for the disease. The patient has at least five more contacts who have ben traced and home quarantined but not tested as yet.
Apart from this, a few members of staff working at the GMCH-32 isolation wards for COVID-19 patients with symptoms of cold and cough tested negative for the disease on Monday.
75-year-old whose sample was rejected discharged
According to a report by the health department, a 75-year-old woman from Chandigarh with travel history to Egypt, who had been admitted to the isolation ward at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 (GMSH-16), has been discharged after her sample was rejected from the PGIMER testing laboratory and the woman was deemed asymptomatic. “Her sample was not accepted because it did not fulfill criteria as per testing protocol. She was asymptomatic and stable and has been discharged,” a spokesperson said. However, it is unclear whether she was conclusively tested as negative for the disease again or whether she was discharged as her sample was inadequate and she was asymptomatic.
Apart from this, 25-year-old patient from Chandigarh with no travel history and a 22-year-old male from Chandigarh who had a contact history with a deceased patient in Punjab, both tested negative for the disease on Tuesday.
Furthermore, a 35-year-old male from Fategarh Sahib who was not directly admitted to the communications disease ward but was tested because he has severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), and the government has decided to test those with SARI in India as well, also tested negative for the disease.
GMCH-32 staff tested
A source from the hospital said that at least two sanitation workers working in the COVID-19 isolation wards of GMCH-32, who have symptoms of cough and cold, were also tested for the disease on Tuesday. “It was crucial to take all steps necessary to ensure that the virus does not spread to healthcare workers, and if it does, it should be tracked,” said the source. Allegedly, more staffers will be tested if they show any symptoms over the course of the next few days.
Concerns overtesting of contacts
Although the brother and parents of the seventh patient have been tested for the disease, there has been no record of whether the grandparents of the 21-year-old male from Sector 38, who were also primary contacts and reside in the same house as the patient, have been tested or will be tested for the disease. The grandparents of the sixth patient identified with the disease who also stayed in the same house, have allegedly been tested as well. “Since elderly people are a high-risk category for the disease, it might be disconcerting that those have not been tested as well. But if they are asymptomatic, it might not be necessary,” a doctor from PGIMER said.
A total of 58 people have been tested for the disease as of now, out of whom seven have tested positive. Furthermore, the sample of a 31-year- old male from Mohali was also taken at PGIMER on Tuesday, and the result of the test is awaited.