After medical personnel in two private hospitals in Mumbai tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), several hospitals in Pune have stepped up precautionary measures and are treating each patient as a potential carrier of the disease.
More than 100 persons with the virus have been hospitalised, with a majority of them at Naidu and Sassoon General Hospitals. Among private hospitals, KEM Hospital has five COVID-19 patients, followed by four at Jehangir Hospital.
Coronavirus patients are also being treated at Sahyadri Specialty Hospital, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Noble Hospital and Poona Hospital, which have also reported positive cases .
Dr (Col) S S Gill, medical director at Jehangir Hospital, said over the last couple of weeks, they have been systematically checking patients with COVID-19-like symptoms. “Over 70 samples from our hospital have been tested, of which four have reported positive for COVID-19,” he said.
“We have a separate triage area where we take the patients’ travel history and other details… if the patient is suspected to have the disease, a different pathway to the isolation ward is created. All these precautionary measures are being taken so that normal care given to other emergency patients is not affected,” said Dr Gill.
Sir Cowasji Jehangir, chairman of Jehangir Hospital, said, “Efforts have been taken to make the hospital safe for our healthcare staff and other patients. The civic administration has asked the designated hospitals about what additional facilities can be given and our efforts have gone into creating segregated areas for COVID-19 patients”.
At Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Medical Director Dr Dhananjay Kelkar said each hospital will have to follow universal precautions. “There is always a risk of accidental exposure to COVID-19 patients as a majority can be asymptomatic,” added Dr Sanjay Lalwani, Medical Director at Bharati Hospital.
“Social distancing, wearing masks and surface cleaning is underway at most hospitals, and as per protocol, we are maintaining measures to prevent contamination,” said Dr V L Yemul, medical director at KEM Hospital.
Dr Dilip Mane, managing director at Noble Hospital, said the Noble annexe building is being used to treat and isolate COVID-19 patients.
While Ruby Hall Clinic has yet to register a positive case, Dr Sanjay Pathare, its medical director, said they have taken precautions to ensure their healthcare staff and other routine and emergency patients are safe.
“At the entry level, both staff and patients attending OPD are checked for fever and cough. Travel history details are taken of persons wanting to enter Ruby Hall and in the case of an emergency, our casualty staff has been given PPE kits. A trained team has been deployed at the COVID-19 isolation ward and beds can be increased if required,” Dr Pathare said.
“We are not referring patients coming to Ruby Hall for treatment to other hospitals and so far have sent 41 samples for tests, of which none have been positive,” he added.
Angandwadi worker discharged after 25 days in hospital.
A 41-year-old anganwadi worker with Pune Zilla Parishad, who was the first local case of coronavirus transmission without any history of international travel, was discharged from Bharati Hospital on Wednesday after 25 days of hospitalisation. Authorities had traced 108 of her contacts and barring five members of her family, no one has tested positive.
Her husband, sister and three other family members have already been discharged from Naidu Hospital. The woman was sent home in an ambulance to her mother’s place. `
“She was at our hospital from March 16 to April 8 and required ventilation for 12 days,” said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director at Bharati Hospital.
When contacted, the woman said she was stable and happy to be back home. “Life is precious and you need to take care of yourself. Please stay at home,” she said.
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