KURNOOL: The Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) in Adoni was reportedly shut after 20 staff, including two doctors, tested positive for the coronavirus. The hospital, at present, has no patient after five women, who delivered recently, were discharged, hospital superintendent Dr K Madhavi Latha said.
Meanwhile, health officials were on their toes even as they were trying to determine how the virus spread to the hospital staff. They suspected that the staff could have contracted COVID-19 from an asymptomatic patient who was getting treated at the 50-bed MCH, which has been in service for decades.
While results of 10 more samples were awaited, five staff had shown symptoms of COVID-19, it is learnt. As such, the remaining were reportedly refusing to report to work even as a few went on a week-long leave.
One of the employees said they have plans to go on a long leave. The hospital employs 10 doctors, 33 nursing staff, and 23 technicians and workers who work shift-wise. In usual times, over 400 deliveries are conducted in the hospital in a month.
On the other hand, a panic-like situation persisted in Adoni as women were refusing to get treated at the hospital, resulting in no admissions in the last couple of days as against 10 on an average day.Refuting the claims of two doctors being among the infected staff, Mother and Child Hospital superintendent said the 20 cases in the hospital were that of nurses and employees working in various capacities.
Lockdown extension likely
A total of 285 cases of COVID-19 has been reported in Adoni division so far. Of them, 261 were reported from Adoni town alone. Locals were of the opinion that reverse migration and the outbreak of the virus in Chennai’s Koyambedu contributed to the spike in infections.
On Thursday, out of the 50 cases reported in Kurnool district, 35 were from Adoni town and six in Adoni rural. Over 80,000 migrant workers have returned to Adoni division from various parts of the country after relaxations in lockdown. On an average, 30 cases were being reported in the division everyday.
The town has a population 1.8 lakh and 43,000 households in 42 municipal wards. The first case in the town was recorded on April 30 when a police constable, who was discharging bandobast duty, tested positive. Later, he recovered and resumed duty.
Meanwhile, people are a worried lot with the surge in positive cases in Adoni as 210 cases were reported in the town in the past seven days alone. Speaking to TNIE, Adoni municipal commissioner Subba Rao said that the lockdown is likely to be extended for a couple of weeks.
"We have stepped up vigil in containment zones and monitoring COVID-19 situation. Shops selling essential commodities and meat stalls are allowed to function from 6 am to 9 am in the town," he added. The civic chief appealed to people to wear face masks, maintain social distancing and use sanitisers to keep coronavirus at bay.