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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Staff test positive, Wockhardt shut, top hospitals face sealing threat

Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai was shut by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation after the number of positive cases among its staff members rose to 54 and all its patients were moved out.

By: Express News Service | Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai | Updated: April 7, 2020 8:51:16 am
Wockhardt Hospital, Wockhardt Hospital coronavirus cases, doctors infected by coronavirus, medical staff coronavirus, coronavirus india news updates All patients of Wockhardt, Mumbai, moved out. (Express photo)

Jaslok Hospital became the second top private hospital in Mumbai to be sealed Monday after 10 more of its staff members, including doctors and nurses, tested positive for coronavirus. Samples of over 1,000 staffers have been sent for testing. Earlier in the day, Wockhardt Hospital was shut by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation after the number of positive cases among its staff members rose to 54 and all its patients were moved out.

In Delhi, two hospitals have been partially shut due to COVID-19 cases among staff members. Kolkata also saw partial shut-down of a government hospital.

Jaslok and Wockhardt have been declared containment zones and their OPDs shut and all admissions stopped. Two other hospitals in Mumbai were declared containment zones earlier.

On April 1, two nurses at Jaslok had tested positive for coronavirus, with 10 more added to the list Monday. The infection is said to have spread from an asymptomatic patient admitted for a different illness. The 12 include five nurses, six technicians and a cook. The BMC has shut down its OPD, though the hospital continues to treat patients who were admitted before April 1.

While all were initially isolated at the hospital and were being treated there, a hospital official said a COVID-19 patient, on ventilator support, was shifted to Kasturba Hospital, the main government facility in Mumbai for COVID19, in order to prevent further risk of infection to other Jaslok staffers.

The BMC had sealed Wockhardt on March 28 after two nurses tested positive. In the testing done by the hospital since, the results of 52 more came out positive Monday, sending the entire staff of the hospital in quarantine.

The two nurses had been treating a patient admitted on March 17 for an angioplasty, who later tested COVID-19 positive. However, the two, despite showing symptoms, continued to work, travel from their hostel to the hospital in the staff bus, and ate with others in the canteen. It was only three days after another patient tested positive on March 25 that the two nurses were tested.

Wockhardt Hospital, Wockhardt Hospital coronavirus cases, doctors infected by coronavirus, medical staff coronavirus, coronavirus india news updates Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai has been declared a containment zone after some staff at the hospital tested positive. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirshekar)

All those who have tested positive have been shifted to other hospitals. The patients in the 350-bed hospital were tested for COVID-19 before being sent to other hospitals or discharged, depending on their condition.

With the staff angry over the “late reaction” by the hospital, Wockhardt said in a statement Monday, “It is the hard truth that healthcare professionals all over the world on the front line are at the highest risk of contacting the COVID-19 infection whilst treating patients… We are following the containment protocol as laid out by the BMC. We have tested all those within the hospital and are treating the positive patients, quarantining the primary contacts of the infected and cleaning the facility to contain the contagion with full support of the BMC.”

Another hospital in Mumbai, Brahma Sabha Hospital, was declared a containment zone on Monday after a 95-year-old man died there and tested COVID-19 positive. The hospital has been asked to test all its staffers and remaining patients. In Chembur, Sai Hospital had been sealed on March 31 after a patient tested positive.

The two hospitals hit in Delhi are the state government’s Delhi State Cancer Institute (DSCI) and the semi-government Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. A resident doctor in the Department of Preventive Oncology at the DSCI tested positive earlier and 10 more on Monday, taking the number of such healthcare workers at the hospital to 19, including doctors and nurses. Its OPD has been shut and its patients are being shifted to other hospitals.

At Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, OPD services have been shut and only half of the 5,500 staff are working after 108 staffers including 20 doctors and 72 nurses have been put on quarantine.

“All confirmed cases have been sent to the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital for treatment. The campus has been sanitised and we are preparing a list of people who might have come in contact with the healthcare workers (who tested positive),” Dr B L Sherwal, Medical Superintendent, DSCI, said.

In Kolkata, 55 healthcare workers, including 39 junior doctors, at the government-run NRS Medical College and Hospital in Sealdah were quarantined Sunday after a patient who died there tested COVID-19 positive. The hospital has shut down the male general medicine ward and is disinfecting the CCU unit. All other departments are functioning.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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