Four nurses of Nathalal Parekh Cancer Institute tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, following which the administration said they would have to close the hospital for two weeks to prevent further spread of the virus. A week ago, two nurses had tested positive.
Dr Vijaykumar Gupta, medical director of the hospital, said that there are 46 nurses in the hospital and out of them 26 are resident nurses living in a hostel on the hospital premises, while the rest live outside the premises.
“A week ago, two nurses of radiology department of our hospital had tested positive and we had closed down that department since. But yesterday, we sent samples of four more nurses who were mildly symptomatic and they returned positive for the disease,” he said.
Gupta further said that samples of eight more nurses and a doctor were collected on Friday for Covid-19 testing and that laboratory results were expected to come by Saturday. “Of the six nurses who have tested positive, one has been admitted to civil hospital (PDU Hospital), while the rest are in isolation in their homes,” Dr Gupta further said.
He added that 57 patients who were receiving indoor treatment would be discharged by Saturday and that the hospital would have to be closed down for at least two weeks. He further said that the hospital used to record 150 OPD patients every day.
“We don’t know how the infection entered the hospital but are taking precautionary measures as per guidelines,” Gaurang Sanghvi, chairman of Rajkot Cancer Society (RCS), the NGO which runs the hospital told The Indian Express.
The chairman said most cancer surgeries, for which patients are hospitalised, are planned surgeries and that the hospital will have to reschedule some of them due to impending closure for a few days.
“While we are also aware of the fact most of the patients coming to our hospital for treatment come from weak economic background, cancer patients can be highly susceptible to disease like Covid-19 and we need to take extreme care while handling them,” said Sanghvi.
Dr Sushmita Dave, honorary secretary of RCS, said the hospital had been taking all precautions since February this year to keep the Covid-19 at bay. “To ensure that social distancing is maintained on the hospital premises, we had converted a part of our parking lot into waiting area for OPD patients. We had also hired extra security guards for this purpose and made it a norm that only one relative is allowed per patient as a caretaker. We had also introduced pass systems for patients and relatives,” said Dr Dave.
The hospital administration said that they were in touch with the officers of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) for sanitising the hospital.
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