Mumbai: No leprosy-affected inmates in civic-run Acworth Leprosy hospital contracted Covid-19 since pandemic began, claim doctors

Dr Amita Pednekar, medical superintendent of the Acworth Leprosy Hospital said that during the pandemic they had taken all necessary care of these leprosy-affected people or inmates so that they don’t contract infections.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Sunday, March 20, 2022, 09:46 PM IST
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Civic-run Acworth Leprosy hospital in Wadala | Photo: Representative Image

None of the leprosy-affected people or inmates admitted to civic-run Acworth Leprosy hospital in Wadala has contracted Covid-19 infections since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020.

The hospital has over 60 inmates (leprosy-affected patients), of which, most of them are residing at the hospital for more than 30 years. According to the doctors, the main reason due to which none of them contracted infections was that not a single relative of any inmates visited to see them because of lockdown, lack of transport facilities. None of the inmates came in contact with anyone Covid affected patients.

Moreover, the hospital authorities had also kept two separate wards to utilise as Covid isolation wards, but since none of the inmates got contracted with Covid, the isolation wards have been in use for admitting new leprosy patients.

Dr Amita Pednekar, medical superintendent of the Acworth Leprosy Hospital said that during the pandemic they had taken all necessary care of these leprosy-affected people or inmates so that they don’t contract infections. Moreover, all of these are abandoned by their families and they are residing after getting recovered.

“We hardly saw any relatives visiting their patients during the pandemic due to which none of them contracted infections. Due to the nationwide lockdown, there was a lack of transport facilities and even those relatives stopped visiting. Even if the hospital is in the buzzing part of the city, nobody visits this space. This helped us to keep our inmates safe from the pandemic,” she said.

Dr Pednekar further said that considering the overall situation of the Covid they had reduced the number of staff who used to visit these inmates in their wards.

Moreover, they had conducted awareness sessions for the inmates to understand about Covid-19 virus and the precautions that were needed to be taken. “We had conducted regular checkups for the inmates and if any of them had even a mild fever, they were immediately attended with the medicines. We also conducted RT-PCR tests if any of the inmates showed Corona-like symptoms,” she added.

One of the inmates said that they are completely cut off from the world outside the hospital and hospital authorities were always there to help them during the ongoing pandemic. “We have been staying isolated since the time we were infected with leprosy and due to social stigma, none of us will ever go back to live our pre-leprosy life again,” he said.

The hospital authorities conducted the vaccination drive for all the inmates and all of them have completed both doses and now they are waiting for precautionary doses.

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