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Three more staff test positive at Delhi's Cancer Institute


By NS Desk 09-Apr-2020

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Three more staff, including a doctor, at the Delhi State Cancer Institute here have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total such cases to 21, a senior officer said on Thursday.

B.L. Sherwal, DSCI's Medical Superintendent, said it is "unfortunate" and the hospital is investigating the source of infection.

"A doctor, a nursing staff and a sanitation staff have tested positive, even as reports of samples drawn from patients is awaited."

He said that usually the report is available in two days, but it has now been three days since the samples were sent. The labs are under pressure too, Sherwal said.

He said the families of affected staff were also at risk. "Two of the staff have young children but luckily they tested negative for coronavirus."

The hospital, he said, is worried for its staff and is "taking full care of their requirements".

Asked if lack of PPE kits could be the reason for new infections, the official said that there was no shortage of personal safety equipment.

A full-body suit is important while dealing with confirmed or suspected cases, he said, adding that bodysuits are meant for only hospitals dealing with designated cases.

"Otherwise, while dealing with general patients, gloves and surgical masks are sufficient. Those are available with the hospital. We were not supposed to deal with the coronavirus patients and did not need PPE kits till now," he added.

Sherwal said: "We never admitted any COVID-19 patient. We are investigating the source of the spread and trying to control it. The staff safety is a priority."

Sherwal said OPD and admission of new patients have been stopped by the hospital.

The area is being sanitised and patients moved elsewhere after reports of samples come. As a preventive measure, stable patients were discharged, while those who with serious health issues will be shifted to Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital.

"Admitted patients have been tested for coronavirus. We are awaiting reports. If they are negative, we will shift them to the Dharamshila Hospital or will discharge them, depending on the situation. We cannot send a patient outside if he/she tests positive," he said.

Till now, three doctors, one sanitation worker and 17 nursing staff have tested positive at the cancer institute, which said most were asymptomatic.

Delhi has so far reported 669 coronavirus cases.



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