Mumbai’s Wockhardt Hospital has been shut down temporarily after a number of its healthcare professionals tested positive for the COVID-19 disease. As many as 3 doctors and 26 nurses have been infected.
BMC has declared the facility as a containment zone. This means that no one can enter or leave the hospital until the patients test negative for the virus at least 2 times in a row.
More than 270 patients and nurses are to be tested for the virus. The emergency department of the hospital has been suspended. The hospital canteen is open and will provide food to the patients.
Suresh Kakani, the Additional Municipal Commissioner, said “It is unfortunate that such a big cluster of cases have come from a medical facility. They should have taken precautions,” He also added that the situation will be looked into.
According to a News18 report, the mass infection could have been caused by a 70-year-old patient. The man tested positive for the disease on 27 March. The two nurses who were taking care of him also contracted the disease. This led to the virus infecting several other nurses.
The staff members said that the hospital authorities did not provide PPEs to the nurses who were dealing with COVID-19 patients. Moreover, they did not quarantine the staff.
The United Nurses Association claims that the nurses were not tested for the disease until they started to show symptoms. They weren’t removed from their shifts as well.
The UNA and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan wrote in a combined letter “The hospital has not given nurses access to their own test reports. Many who were in quarantine in the hostel or other wards have been moved to the COVID ward.”
A nurse who has tested positive for COVID-19 said, “We have contracted the infection after we were exposed to suspected coronavirus patients who were undergoing treatment in a general ward at the hospital.”
The infected nurses shared facilities like canteen and washrooms with other uninfected staff. This caused the virus to spread. On April 1, the nurses spoke about this issue to the BMC officials during a hospital inspection. They were reprimanded for speaking up.
Other than this, Jaslok hospital in South Mumbai has also emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot. More than 12 employees have tested positive for the disease here. Test results of more than 400 people are awaited. Most of the cases in Maharashtra belong to Mumbai.