Coronavirus | 42 postgraduate doctors test positive in Madras Medical College

All of them are residents of the men’s hostel

Published - June 12, 2020 11:45 pm IST - CHENNAI

Madras Medical College’s Postgraduate (PG) Men’s Hostel houses around 250 residents.

Madras Medical College’s Postgraduate (PG) Men’s Hostel houses around 250 residents.

Forty-two doctors, who are residents of the Madras Medical College’s Postgraduate (PG) Men’s Hostel, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on Friday.

Nearly 60 samples were lifted from the doctors. Of these, 42 returned positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The hostel houses 250 PG doctors. These doctors were posted on COVID-19 as well as other duties, including trauma and outpatient departments, at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH). Reliable sources at the hospital said that a number of women PGs and house surgeons had tested positive.

“Those who were posted on non-COVID-19 duties have also tested positive. PGs are posted in the trauma wards, including on 24-hour duty. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are provided but how can they wear it for 24 hours? We have been requesting duty on a shift basis for every six hours. After the government lifted the restrictions, there is an increase in accidents and assault cases. As a result, we have to attend to emergency patients at the earliest,” a doctor at the hospital said.

A majority of the medicos who tested positive were admitted to the ESI Hospital, Ayanavaram. “Many of those who tested positive are asymptomatic. The PG hostel should be closed for disinfection. It is important to actively screen all staff at RGGGH, not just those who are symptomatic. It is important for the safety of healthcare providers and workers, and for patients,” another doctor said on condition of anonymity.

Regular testing sought

G.R. Ravindranath, general secretary, of the Doctors’ Association for Social Equality, said PPEs should be provided to all doctors irrespective of whether they were on COVID-19 or non COVID-19 duty. “Quality checks should be conducted on these PPEs. Moreover, all healthcare providers should be provided a 14-day quarantine and should be tested periodically on the fifth and 10th day of quarantine. The quarantine period has been reduced to seven days in some institutions,” he said. He added that the healthcare professionals were not being screened periodically. Additional staff should be recruited proportionate to the increase in the number of beds, he said.

R. Jayanthi, dean of RGGGH, said these tests were conducted over two days. “More testing means more positive cases. We periodically screen healthcare professionals only at MMC. We have done more than 3,000 tests so far. This is in the best interest of the healthcare professionals and of society.”

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