Mumbai coronavirus
Mumbai coronavirus
(Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP)

Mumbai: A day after a 64-year-old man admitted at P D Hinduja Hospital at Mahim tested positive for coronavirus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday pulled up the hospital administration for admitting such a patient without a thorough check on his travel history, and failing to inform the civic health department.

As many as 82 hospital staffers deemed `high-risk contacts’, including doctors, nurses and non-medical staff, who were directly or indirectly exposed to the virus when the patient was undergoing treatment, have been quarantined at the private hospital.

Besides those quarantined at the private hospital, seven`high risk contacts’ who came in contact with the patient have been quarantined at the civic-run Kasturba Hospital, and seven `low risk’ contacts have been quarantined at home for 14 days.

The elderly patient was shifted to Kasturba Hospital on Friday morning. As part of a tracking exercise, five teams of BMC health department personnel surveyed 460 homes in Chembur, where he resides. No symptoms of Coronavirus were found among those surveyed.

As per directions issued by the central health department, the private hospitals should not admit or provide any treatment to patients if they have COVID19 symptoms. They should be immediately referred to the civic-run Kasturba Hospital which has an isolation ward.

“We have taken necessary action against the hospital administration and have ordered them not to repeat it in the future. We will keep a close watch on all private hospitals, and have asked them to take down complete details of patients if they have travel history before getting admitted to the hospitals,” said a senior health official.

On March 8, when the 64-year-old returned from a trip to Dubai, he developed uneasiness and got admitted at Hinduja Hospital. After two days of admission he began displaying coronavirus symptoms with fever, cold, and breathlessness, following which the hospital informed the civic health department. On March 12, his samples tested positive for the virus.

Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC, said the lapse on the part of the hospital had affected staffers who were in close contact with the patients. Health officers had visited to the hospital to collect their swab samples, she said.

“We have collected samples from 89 staffers who were directly or indirectly exposed to the virus when the patient was undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Seven close contacts have been quarantined at Kasturba Hospital, and the rest have been quarantined at the private hospital itself. If anyone quarantined at Hinduja Hospital tests positive for the virus, we will send them to Kasturba hospital,” she added.

A statement released from PD Hinduja Hospital and Research Centre on Friday evening read, ‘‘In spite of the best precautions and guidelines, last night one of our patients admitted in the hospital tested positive for COVID-19 and the hospital immediately got in touch with the concerned government authorities (MCGM) where all protocols were activated.

As per government guidelines for treatment of all coronavirus cases in the city, the patient has been shifted to Kasturba Hospital.

’Vinoo Hinduja, the Managing Trustee of the hospital said, “I want to assure the public that the management is diligently following the regulatory requirements and has taken all precautionary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and medical and non-medical community within the hospital.”

“Our aim is to ensure utmost efficiency in the process and keep it transparent to promote social awareness while avoiding panic. We would advise our patients and patrons to not blindly believe any rumours which are currently floating across various online and social mediums,” he said.

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