Amid OPDs shutdowns, Mumbai sees more Covid-dedicated facilities come up

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on April 06, 2020

Representative image   -  REUTERS

In the span of about a week, two private hospitals in Mumbai had to shut down their outpatient departments (OPD) following instances of patients and staff showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection. This, even as the city saw five Covid-19-dedicated facilities being announced by authorities over the weekend.

Wockhardt Hospitals and Jaslok Hospital confirmed that their OPDs had been shut down after some patients and nurses showed symptoms of the virus infection.

Meanwhile, Saifee Hospital said it had opened a 50-bed exclusive Covid-19 facility, besides having a separate ward for suspect cases. This facility had received approval from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Saifee said. According to reports, four other hospitals — Kasturba, St George, Seven Hills and Nanavati — were also identified by the BMC for the purpose.

In Saifee’s case, the hospital was resuming its regular operations after a Covid-affected doctor from the hospital succumbed to the virus at another city hospital. “Within the shutdown period the hospital has completed the super sanitisation process in its entire premises and has ensured complete safety and security of its patients and staff members,” a note from the 257-bed hospital said, on its reopening. Vernon Desa, Saifee’s Director (Medical Governance and Clinical Compliance), said the hospital is following international safety protocols and anti-infection measures as outlined by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospital representatives point out that Mumbai is not the only city where hospitals are facing the brunt of the pandemic. Similar reports are trickling in from hospitals elsewhere in the country, too.

OPDs closed

On the situation at Jaslok Hospital, a person familiar with the development said that a patient admitted for a different illness and without any travel history, had later tested positive. “He showed symptoms of coronavirus and was immediately shifted to the isolation ward,” the hospital said. Taking precautions to protect staff and patients at hospital, the person said, Jaslok suspended its OPD services temporarily and no new admissions were being taken for a few days.

“With all protocols being followed, as a measure of caution, swab tests of people who directly or indirectly came in contact with the patient are being done,” the hospital said, adding it will “attend to emergency cases at all times, if any”.

A spokesperson of Wockhardt Hospitals said a Covid patient had been admitted on March 27. “As per self-containment and BMC rules and protocols we are not taking any outpatients or new admissions,” the hospital said.

The hospital refuted reports that adequate precaution had not been taken to handle the patient and protect nurses and other frontline staff. “We are adhering to all the guidelines laid down to tackle Covid-19 based on the policies of the municipal health authorities,” the spokesperson said, adding that personal protective equipment and prophylactic medication had been provided to the hospital staff.

Published on April 06, 2020

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