More healthcare workers testing positive causes worry

Since Sunday, 90 health workers have tested positive in the district.

Published: 22nd August 2020 03:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2020 03:26 AM   |  A+A-

Health workers rest during at a COVID-19 testing centre. (Photo|PTI)

Health workers take rest after duty in a COVID-19 testing centre. (File Photo|PTI)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Since Sunday, 90 health workers have tested positive in the district. From doctors to ASHA workers, the number of health workers testing positive here has remained high for over two weeks now. The hopes of the district administration and health department are on the Covid brigades now being set up with health workers who have volunteered to do Covid care to strike a balance.

While 23 health care workers tested positive on Sunday, 15 tested positive on Monday. While 10 cases were reported on Tuesday, seven were reported on Wednesday, 21 on Thursday and 14 on Friday. Though health workers can stay home and quarantine themselves if they are asymptomatic, reportedly only a 30 per cent of them opt for the facility.“Some are not sure about staying home. Then there are protests from the public once we pinpoint the location,” said a health department official.

Meanwhile, with the human resources highly depleted in the district, only select health workers with established primary contact with a Covid-positive patient is sent into quarantine now. The health department also follows the pattern of 10-day work and further seven-day observation for the health workers before they join back work. The department maintained that mostly health workers who are not directly involved in Covid care are the ones testing positive.

“The health care workers testing positive are not the ones involved with Covid care. The chances of a health worker tending to Covid patients testing positive is comparatively low since they are following all the protective protocols. In the case of other health care workers, the chances of unknown exposure are high. They travel and deal with patients who may not be positive. Extra care needs to be taken by reducing contact with others,” said K S Shinu, District Medical Officer.

5 patients in General Hospital test positive

T’Puram: Days after Govt General Hospital here was turned into a Covid-19 hospital, five positive cases were reported from Ward 9 of hospital on Friday. 
When the hospital was made Covid care centre, only patients of Ward 9  - which tends to patients with none to care for as well as destitutes - were not shifted.
The 5 were found to be infected after tests were conducted on 68 patients here. 

429 patients tested positive in the district on Friday. An overwhelming majority of them - 411 - infected through local contact, with 14 of them being health workers. 
“There are only 40 beds but because of the limited space, more patients are accommodated here. The five tested positive in antigen tests and we are awaiting RTPCR results of all the people in the ward. The positive patients have been shifted and others are under observation,” said a GH official. 
258 people recovered on Friday.


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