A male nurse posted in the isolation ward of the Himmatnagar Civil Hospital tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, becoming the first case of the district, with no contact traced so far.
The 33-year-old male nurse was posted in the isolation ward of the Himmatnagar Civil Hospital run by the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) for suspected COVID-19 cases since March 30.
Health officials are flummoxed because none of the suspected persons admitted to the isolation ward tested positive for the infection, suggesting he could have contracted it from elsewhere.
Sabarkantha police and health departments have launched an investigation to trace the source of infection by mapping the movement of the male nurse in the recent past. His family and 127 others who came in contact with him, have been quarantined.
Resident Medical Officer of the hospital, Dr NM Shah, said that the male nurse is a native of a village in Nathdwara tehsil of Rajsamand district of Rajasthan and was posted in the isolation ward for suspected COVID-19 patients on March 30. He had been in service since 2016 and was living with his family at the staff quarters in Himmatnagar.
“On April 2, he complained of cold and cough, following which he was admitted in the isolation ward. On April 5, his swab was sent for test at BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad. Today, we received the report, confirming him to be positive,” said Shah.
According to Shah, “He does not seem to have got infection from the isolation ward. The isolation ward was opened on March 22. Since then, total 34 patients were admitted to the ward. However, none of the patients tested positive for COVID-19. So, we suspect some other source of infection, which we are trying to trace.”
Sabarkantha Collector CJ Patel said, “We are trying to trace the source of infection. He (the patient) had visited Rajasthan recently. Officials of health and police departments are on it.” Patel said that it was difficult to say at this juncture if the male nurse got infection from within the community.
Shah said that they have quarantined around 130 persons who were in touch with the patient. “Total 30 persons who came in close contact with him, including his wife and two children, have been quarantined at the hospital. Remaining 27 are hospital staff members. Around 100 persons at low risk of contact with the patient have been home quarantined.”
The hospital has five floors and two basements; the fourth and fifth floor have been kept exclusively for COVID-19 patients.
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