COVID-19 in Mumbai: 7 days later, 160 staffers at Vasai hospital quarantined

Updated: Apr 17, 2020, 07:31 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Earlier, when the authorities had refused to test all the staff members of the hospital, many of the nurses said they had faced difficulties in returning to their own houses

Civic-run Sir D M Petit Hospital in Vasai was sealed last week. 
Pic/Hanif Patel
Civic-run Sir D M Petit Hospital in Vasai was sealed last week. Pic/Hanif Patel

Almost a week after two nurses at the civic-run Sir D M Petit Hospital in Vasai tested positive for COVID-19 and the premises was sealed, swabs of 160 staffers were collected and all of them quarantined at different facilities on Thursday.

The positive reports had triggered a lot of panic among the other staff members of the hospital as they had worked closely with the two nurses who contracted the viral infection. The two nurses have been kept in an isolation ward at Riddhi Vinayak Hospital in Nalasopara West.

Requesting anonymity, a nurse said, "After both the nurses were found to be positive for COVID-19, the authorities had ordered to collect the samples of only 40 staff members and others were asked to wait. Earlier, we were told that after receiving the 40 reports they would decide whether the rest needed to undergo tests."

"We were given a hint that we needed to resume work without undergoing tests. This was shocking, as we had to be quarantined immediately. But as there was no directive from the senior health officials, we returned home. Our neighbours took strong objection to this and a few of us had to struggle to enter our houses. So we returned to the hospital and protested against the senior health officials," said another nurse, who added that the hospital had a common changing room, which was used by the two nurses who tested positive.

They said the authorities woke up only on Thursday after a nurse reported severe chest pain. "She was rushed to the hospital and later the authorities agreed to test all the staff members," added the nurse.

The nasal and throat swabs of all the staff members were collected at the hospital sent to Mumbai for tests, confirmed Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) Mayor, Pravin Shetty, and added, "There are a total of 160 staff members at Sir DM Petit Hospital and all of them have been quarantined at different facilities in Vasai. The test reports are awaited and the hospital has been sealed."

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