Coronavirus outbreak: Wockhardt hospital open despite shutdown order?

Updated: 08 April, 2020 07:10 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

As more nurses test positive in Wockhardt, other health workers allege that the hospital is forcing them to work in isolation wards despite officials ordering the place shut


Wockhardt Hospital continues to defy BMC orders to shut down after 52 employees tested positive for COVID-19. On Tuesday, the hospital was operational and the nursing staff was told to look after patients in the isolation ward and also the ICU where two staffers are admitted.

Some of the hospital employees, who along with the patients were on Tuesday shifted to different hospitals across the city, expressed hope that the remaining staff would be able to leave the hospital soon.

"Our colleagues, who are still working at the Hospital, continue to stay in their hostel rooms and are served food in the common hall," a concerned staffer told mid-day. The employee hoped that the remaining patients would be moved out of the hospital by Tuesday night so that the 70-plus nursing and administrative staff who are still there will also be relieved of their duty.

BMC confirms 52 staffers tested positive
BMC confirms 52 staffers tested positive

The civic health department confirmed that majority of the 52 employees of Wockhardt Hospital at Mumbai Central, who had tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), were shifted to SevenHills Hospital in Marol, Nanavati Hospital in Vile Parle and Hiranandani Hospital in Powai.

While the symptomatic cases were taken to hospitals, the asymptomatic cases were shifted to PWD guest house in Andheri.

Some of the hospital staffers, who had shared rooms with COVID-19-positive people and had raised concern about not receiving the physical copy of their test reports, finally got them on Tuesday, confirming that they had tested negative, said another employee.

Meanwhile, another employee of Wockhardt said, "We have been told that the samples of those tested negative will be collected again on April 14 for testing, and only then we will get a clear picture." He also expressed concern about more people, currently at Wockhardt Hospital, testing positive.

Dr Daksha Shah, BMC's deputy executive health officer, said, "We have shifted some of them [52 confirmed cases] to the designated hospitals for COVID-19. Also, the fumigation is underway and disinfectants are also being sprayed at regular intervals, both by the BMC and the hospital."

Kerala CM writes to Uddhav
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has shot off a letter to his counterpart Uddhav Thackeray, expressing concern about the safety of the nurses in Mumbai, most of whom are from Kerala.

The letter [a copy of which is with mid-day] states, Vijayan "has been receiving frantic calls from the parents of these nurses... and they are concerned about their safety. The Kerala chief minister also requested that the symptomatic and asymptomatic patients be kept separately.

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First Published: 08 April, 2020 07:05 IST

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