The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has declared Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai Central a containment zone after 26 nurses and three doctors tested positive for Covid-19 over a week’s period, Mumbai Mirror reported on Monday. A civic official said nobody will be allowed to enter or leave the hospital until every infected person there tests negative twice consecutively.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said a team has been set up under the executive health officer to investigate how the infection spread among so many people in a hospital. “It is unfortunate that such a big cluster of cases has come from a medical facility,” he said. “They should have taken precautions.”
The authorities have sent swabs of over 270 hospital staff and patients for tests. Agripada Police Station Senior Inspector Savalaram Angawane said an officer and two constables have been posted at the facility to restrict movement.
“Our Out Patient Department and emergency services are shut and there will be no admissions,” a spokesperson for the hospital said, but did not offer any explanation on how so many people were infected. A 70-year-old patient who had suffered a heart attack tested positive on March 27. Two nurses attending to the patient were found to be infected. Following this, many nurses fell ill and began testing positive for Covid-19. Two of the infected doctors have been admitted to Seven Hills Hospital and one in SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim.
Wockhardt staff have alleged that the infection spread because the hospital did not quarantine the two nurses who had initially tested positive. The United Nurses’ Association said they were not tested or removed from shifts till symptoms emerged. It said personal protection equipment was not provided. However, the hospital administration has denied the charges.
Maharashtra has so far reported 532 cases of the coronavirus, with a significant percentage coming from Mumbai. In India, 4,067 cases of Covid-19 have been reported, and 109 people have died, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.