The central government-run Safdarjung Hospital has recorded 13 cases of healthcare workers testing positive for coronavirus. On Tuesday, five more staff members, including a doctor from the department of medicine, tested positive.
Resident doctors working in the hospital have alleged the medicine department did not quarantine staff after the doctor tested positive — a charge denied by the medical superintendent.
In a letter dated April 24, resident doctors requested the head of the department to quarantine staff deputed in ward 11 after three doctors tested positive. “We, being very close contacts of those residents, are at a high risk of exposure without proper PPE kits in the ward. We request you to quarantine the residents of ward 11 to reduce the risk of exposure to other people as well as the patients,” the letter signed by 29 resident doctors stated.
Doctors alleged none of them were sent for a quarantine. When contacted, Dr D K Gupta, head of the department, told The Indian Express: “We have tested 19 doctors posted in ward 11 and all of them tested negative. We have enough testing facilities for all our healthcare staff, and if needed, we will send their reports again for testing. The quarantine period starts from five to 14 days, and we have got the doctors tested within that period. All of them are negative, and if they come out to be positive, then the quarantine period for 14 days is followed. We are taking enough care of healthcare workers.”
There are around 25 doctors posted in ward 11, which is a non-COVID treatment area.
The medical superintendent of the hospital, Dr Balwinder Singh Arora, also denied the allegations: “The allegations are baseless. Nothing like this has happened in the department.”
Several healthcare workers working in other hospitals also tested positive on Tuesday.
At Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar (BSA) hospital, 11 more healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19. So far, 45 staff members have tested positive from the hospital. On Tuesday, staff members protested demanding PPE gear.
“The director of the hospital is in quarantine, and on Tuesday, higher authorities told the doctors not to take more samples of healthcare workers. We don’t know where to go,” alleged a hospital staff. Director of the hospital, Dr M M Kohli, did not respond to the calls.
Three more workers from AIIMS also tested positive for the disease, taking the number to 11. At Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital, 10 more staff members tested positive, taking the total count to 75.
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