WITH 14 staff members—a resident medical officer, 12 nurses and a computer operator—testing positive for COVID-19 in the last few days, the 550-bed Kiran Super Multispeciality Hospital in Surat has been temporarily shut down till May 1.
“We have talked to all the patients, nobody had shown any symptoms. We don’t want to take any risks. we have decided to shut down. Once the hospital is fully sanitised, it will start functioning again,” said Mathur Sawani, chairman of Kiran Hospital.
During contact tracing, it was found that many of the staff members who tested positive had travelled to their homes – some in the nearby districts of Dang and Navsari – in the last few days.
A 23-year-old nurse, who went to her home in Dang district on April 18, had even started working at the civil hospital in Ahwa from Tuesday. She is the first COVID-19 patient in Dang district.
A 24-year-old nurse had taken leave four days ago to go to her village in Navsari district. She tested positive on Wednesday night, and was admitted to the civil hospital while her family members were quarantined at home.
A 27-year-old doctor also went home (in Navsari district) on leave four days ago. She was on duty in the same ward where two nurses tested positive. The doctor tested positive on Thursday, and was shifted to the isolation ward at the civil hospital in Navsari.
Another 21-year-old nurse, from Surat itself, had gone home on a five-day leave. She tested positive on Tuesday.
“We had a shortage of nurses in the isolation ward, so we hired six nurses through an agency. We got them medically examined and put them on duty from April 21. On April 22, a source in Surat said some nurses and doctors from Kiran Hospital had tested positive. We sent the samples of all the newly appointed nurses for testing. On Thursday afternoon, we got the test reports – one of the nurses, who was earlier at Kiran Hospital, tested positive,” said Dr Rashmikant Kokni, Chief Medical Officer, Ahwa Civil Hospital.
“We have quarantined her along with her family members. She was asymptomatic. There was no patient in the isolation ward (where the nurse was on duty) so there is nothing to worry about,” he said.
“We have sanitised the isolation ward; 20 staff members, including doctors, nursing and clerical staff, have been quarantined. Their samples have been sent for testing. The infected nurse’s village has been quarantined. We have deployed police personnel outside the village so that nobody can enter or leave,” said Dang District Collector N K Damor.
Two of the nurses who tested positive are from Navsari district. Dr Dilip Bhavsar, Chief District Health Officer, Navsari, said the district now has three positive cases.
The Kiran Hospital reported its first case last week, when a nurse tested positive. Since then, all its patients have been shifted to other hospitals. The hospital, which is run by the Samast Patidar Arogya Trust, was not among those treating COVID-19 patients. Earlier, the Lokhat Hospital in Surat was shut down after some of its staff members tested positive.