The Delhi health department has initiated contact tracing of more than 1,200 patients who visited a mohalla clinic in Babarpur between March 12 and 20, days after the 48-year-old doctor running the clinic tested positive for coronavirus. The doctor is the wife of a 49-year-old doctor who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 22 after he treated a patient in a private clinic. The woman he contracted the disease from had returned from Saudi Arabia and is a resident of Dilshad Garden, officials said. The 49-year-old, apart from practicing at a private clinic, also worked at the Maujpur mohalla clinic.
The department has put up a board outside the Babarpur mohalla clinic requesting people who visited during the period to go into home quarantine. The chain of transmission started from the 38-year-old woman from Dilshad Garden, who tested positive on March 18, almost 10 days after she returned from Saudi Arabia. Dilshad Garden is among the 10 hotspots identified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to trace the COVID-19 cases.
“She is admitted to GTB Hospital and her 17-year-old daughter, who also tested positive, is in Safdarjung Hospital. Her daughter had appeared for the Class XII board exams this year and we are tracing 24 students who are her contacts. Both are stable and being constantly monitored. Patients directly and indirectly linked to both Babarpur and Maujpur mohalla clinics are being traced. On Monday, a 47-year-old male, indirectly linked with the Maujpur mohalla clinic doctor, tested positive,” said a senior health department official.
On an average, a mohalla clinic witnesses 160-200 patients per day. The Delhi government has already decided to conduct tests for all healthcare workers who are directly involved in treating coronavirus patients. The health department is tracing over 3,000 people across the city who have come in contact with 10 of the cases linked with the 38-year-old woman from Dilshad Garden.
Till Tuesday evening, Delhi had confirmed 120 cases of COVID-19. Three of these are healthcare workers — two mohalla clinic doctors and a doctor from a private set-up. Out of the total 120 cases, 41 came from abroad, 24 belonged to Nizamuddin Markaz and 22 are families of those who came from abroad. The department is tracking the nature of transmission in the remaining 10 cases.
Fearing community transmission, many doctors working in mohalla clinics have not been coming to work. Health department officials said that of the 470 total clinics, around 200 are functional at the moment. Sources said many senior doctors who don’t want to expose themselves to the risk have applied for leave.
Meanwhile, at Dilshad Garden, the lanes were barricaded every few metres. The presence of police personnel stood out as well.
A resident, who was headed to get ration from a fair price shop in Seemapuri, said most people were unhappy with the relief arrangements and were on the streets to wave down vehicles of NGOs or government teams.
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