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Mumbai’s Wockhardt hospital: 54 doctors, nurses coronavirus positive, 270 swabs sent for testing

The state government is mulling over creating an advisory for treatment and handling of suspected coronavirus patients to protect the front-line workers from possible infection.

A BMC health officer from E ward said the hospital was declared a containment zone on March 28 immediately after the two nurses tested positive. (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar)

As the count of health workers and doctors testing positive for Covid-19 rose to 54 in Wockhardt hospital, the hospital has sent 270 swabs of staffers for testing and kept entire staff under quarantine. The infection is suspected to have started from four patients who tested positive starting March 17.

The Wockhardt hospital’s admissions and out patient department services were sealed on March 28 after two nurses tested positive the day. In following days, the count of those positive rose to 54. Three doctors also tested positive in last one week. In hindsight civic officials say two factors led to spread of coronavirus amongst staffers—the daily travel from Vile Parle hostel to Wockhardt hospital in bus and the common cafeteria in hospital.

A BMC health officer from E ward said the hospital was declared a containment zone on March 28 immediately after the two nurses tested positive. “We disinfected the hostel and hospital. The hospital has 350 beds, it is now being used to quarantine staffers. Only the existing patients were not discharged. They continued treatment,” the ward officer said.

Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai has been declared a containment zone after staff at the hospital tested positive. (Express photo by Ganesh Shirshekar)

With the virus taking down the entire South Mumbai-based private hospital, the state government is mulling over creating an advisory for treatment and handling of suspected coronavirus patients to protect the front-line workers from possible infection. In Chembur, Sai hospital was also sealed on March 31 after a patient tested positive.

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The United Nurses Association also wrote to the BMC and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 27 raising concerns. “We were informed by the nurses that when a patient tested positive, those who had come in contact with that person were not immediately quarantined and tested. The testing exercise began later on BMC’s intervention,” said Jibin TC, Maharashtra president for the association.

A 70-year-old heart patient admitted in Wockhardt hospital last week developed COVID-19 symptoms a few days after undergoing angioplasty. He had no foreign travel history or had come in contact with an infected person. “Nurses were directly exposed, so were other ICU patients. Until then, the hospital was only providing masks for nurses in the isolation facility. Those on duty in other wards were told a procurement order has been placed,” a nurse under hospital quarantine since April 1 said.

First published on: 06-04-2020 at 06:49:58 pm
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