Around 20 staffers in Kerala medical college told to quarantine themselves after COVID death
The deceased, 77-year-old KG Varghese, was undergoing treatment for severe pneumonia at the hospital. He passed away on Tuesday morning. His test results came back positive by the same evening.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A COVID-19 death in one of the major hospitals in the capital district, the Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH), Thiruvananthapuram, has severely affected its functioning as around 15 to 20 medical professionals in various departments have been asked to undergo quarantine.
The deceased, 77-year-old KG Varghese, was undergoing treatment for severe pneumonia at the hospital. He passed away on Tuesday morning. His test results came back positive by the same evening. The health department is jittery as the source of infection remains unknown.
"Around nine doctors, two medical officers, seven resident doctors, four house surgeons and nurses who were on duty at the ward where the patient was admitted have been asked to undergo quarantine. The swab samples of the doctors were also collected," said an officer of GMCH.
Medical professionals belonging to the neurosurgery, ENT, medicine and casualty departments had treated the patient. While the neurosurgery department was allowed to skip quarantine, some medical professionals in other departments were told to self-quarantine.
"The easing of lockdown restrictions has resulted in an inflow of patients to the casualty and OPs of various departments. The arrival of monsoon will only serve to worsen the situation as various departments will have to attend to monsoon-related diseases. The new development might affect the normal functioning of the hospital," the officer added.
Preventive steps at Peroorkada Hospital also
Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, the health department has initiated various steps at the Peroorkada District Model Hospital also as Varghese had undergone treatment there for around 10 days. However, hospital authorities denied reports that it had closed down some wards and had begun discharging patients.
"No wards have been closed down and no patients have been discharged. Currently, a process is on to identify the first-level contacts including doctors, staff and cleaning staff who directly engaged with the deceased patient. If needed, the details of patients who were near to the deceased at the in-patient ward during that time will also be collected," said an officer of Peroorkada DMH.
According to hospital authorities, the casualty and general OP departments are functioning and only the speciality OP has been temporarily suspended. The authorities also added that they are waiting for directions from higher-ups for further action including disinfecting the wards and collecting the samples of first-line contacts.
Varghese has become the 11th COVID-19 victim in the state.