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Shatabdi hospital shuts down after nurse tests positive, not to take new admissions

The hospital has been in the eye of the storm with nurses protesting unavailability of PPE, and social media outrage against 'unhygienic and poor' conditions in its quarantine and isolation wards.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai | April 11, 2020 10:42:44 pm
Patients from Shatabdi hospital have been moved to other BMC hospitals.

Another civic hospital in the city has been shut after a nurse tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivali, where “unhygienic and poor” conditions led to social media outrage earlier this week, will not take any new admissions.

Officials from the BMC said a nurse, who is a Virar resident and is working at the hospital, was admitted as she was not feeling well on Friday night. She tested positive on Saturday. The work of tracing her high and low risk contacts has started.

Over the past two days, close to 100 suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients were moved from Shatabdi to other BMC hospitals and quarantine facilities. Pramod Nagarkar, Medical Superintendent of Shatabdi Hospital, said the hospital will be sanitised and open after some days to treat only non-COVID patients.

Earlier this week, a viral video from the hospital showed a woman pointing to unclean wards, where suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients have been billeted together. The woman said her father, a confirmed COVID-19 case, died in the hospital. She alleged that no precautions were being taken to separate suspected and confirmed cases.

“My father was declared positive for COVID-19 by a private lab and admitted to Shatabdi hospital on April 4. On Monday night, we suddenly got to know that his condition is serious. When we reached the hospital, doctors informed us that he is no more. Since his test was positive, the hospital insisted eight of us, including me, from my family get admitted for quarantine. We were shocked to see the condition of the ward. It was dirty, stinking and unhygienic. What was most shocking was that many suspected cases were kept in close proximity to confirmed patients. When we complained to the staff, no action was taken. Under such conditions, those who are not infected will also contract the virus,” the woman, a Borivali resident, told The Indian Express.

She added, “There were about 100 such suspected cases and confirmed cases, who were kept in quarantine and isolation, respectively, but all of them were using a common toilet. This is serious lapse. Most beds did not have sheets. When I found that there was no change in the conditions even after repeated complaints, we decided to shoot a video and put it on social media,” said the woman, whose family has now been moved to a community hall-turned-quarantine facility in Dahisar.

Officials from the BMC said everyone in the hospital had now been moved to different quarantine facilities in Kurla Bhabha, Seven Hills hospital and MCMR in Powai. Earlier, hospital staff had complained about not unavailability of safety kits and stopped work. Many nurses had staged a protest, alleging that despite several complaints, the hospital administration was not serious and they were forced to work without safety equipment.

On April 3, close to 40 staff workers and doctors of the hospital were quarantined after they unknowingly came in contact with a COVID-19 patient. Asked about the allegations, Nagarkar disconnected the call.

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