Mumbai

COVID-19 | 52 staffers in Mumbai's Wockhardt hospital test positive

No entry: Wockhardt Hospital has already been declared a containment zone by the BMC

No entry: Wockhardt Hospital has already been declared a containment zone by the BMC   | Photo Credit: File photo

Hospital is now city’s largest COVID-19 cluster; more test reports still awaited

Fifty-two staff members of Wockhardt Hospital at Mumbai Central, including nurses, doctors and others, have tested positive for COVID-19, making it the largest cluster of novel coronavirus patients in the city.

Civic health officials said more reports are still awaited, as nearly 400 swabs were sent for testing over the last week.

The hospital has already been declared a containment zone by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. “On Monday, we received more reports and the number has gone up to 52. The positive patients now include all cadre of staff from the hospital, not just nurses and doctors,” said a civic official. Staff members who have tested positive are being shifted to SevenHills Hospital in Marol and other private hospitals where isolation wards are functional.

According to the hospital, the source of the infection was a 70-year-old patient, who was admitted on March 17 for a cardiac emergency. “The patient was asymptomatic (showed no symptoms of COVID19). On March 26, the patient developed a cough, and was tested for COVID-19, which turned out [to be] positive. The hospital staff were unknowingly exposed to the infection in this time period. We are informing the healthcare sector at large not to be misled by asymptomatic patients,” a spokesperson for the hospital said.

However, in a letter circulated by nurses attached to Wockhardt, they have alleged that the cardiac patient was brought into the intensive care unit (ICU) much later. According to the nurses, initially, two contacts of a COVID-19 patient were admitted and they later tested positive. They were kept in the ICU without following the proper infection control protocol, and the staff were not given proper protective gear, the nurses have said.

The hospital has refuted these allegations.

A civic official said a super speciality hospital like Wockhardt should have reacted much more aggressively to curb the chain of infection after two nurses — a man and a woman — first tested positive. “A thorough investigation by a microbiologist will be conducted to know if there were any lapses,” the official said.

Jaslok Hospital at Peddar Road, where 12 staff members including nurses and a security guard have tested positive, has also been declared a containment zone. Assistant municipal commissioner of D ward, Prashant Gaikwad, said some relaxations were made for the hospital only to care for the already admitted patients.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:31:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/52-wockhardt-staffers-test-positive/article31274460.ece

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