The Wockhardt hospital situated in Mumbai’s Agripada was on Sunday fenced off after 26 nurses and 3 doctors in the hospital were tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) decreed that nobody would be allowed to enter or leave the hospital premises until everyone in it tests negative twice consecutively.
Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani expressed shock over the number of positive COVID-19 cases emerging from a medical facility. He said that a team has been set up under the executive health officer to investigate how the infection spread among so many people within the hospital setting.
“It is really unfortunate that such a big cluster of positive coronavirus cases emerged from a hospital. It is the fault of hospital administration that about 300 staffers have to be quarantined. They should have taken better precautionary measures. We have set up a team to identify how the virus spread among so many people in the hospital setting,” he said.
According to a report published in Hindustan Times, the COVID-19 positive nurses have alleged that the hospital administration’s careless negligence is the reason behind the spread of the infection to other staffers. A couple of weeks back, On March 20 two suspected and positive Covid-19 patients were shifted to the hospital from Kasturba Gandhi Hospital. While the confirmed cases were kept in ICU wards, the suspected cases were kept in general wards where other non-COVID-19 patients were also being provided treatment.
As many as 270 more throat swab samples of the hospital staffers, doctors and nurses have been sent to test. Nurses who were tested positive for the virus were shifted from their quarters in Vile Parle to the hospital. The hospital’s canteen continues to be functioning and provides food. Senior inspector Savalaram Agawane of Agripada police station said that two police personnel have been deployed at the hospital to restrict the movement of people.
The United Nurses’ Association(UNA) said that they were neither quarantined nor removed from the shifts until the symptoms became apparent- a charge that the hospital denied. The union has also alleged that the nurses were not provided with PPEs despite attending to suspected coronavirus patients.
In a letter, UNA and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan contended that both the COVID-19 wards of the hospital are full. They have claimed that the hospital refused to provide access to the nurses to their own test reports, adding that several of those who were in quarantine in the hostel were shifted to COVID wards in the hospital. Some of who were attending to the COVID-19 positive nurses are also added to the COVID ward, the letter said. In a set of demands put forth by the bodies, one included not putting pregnant nurses on duty.