COVID-19: How docs, nurses, attendants got infected at SSH

COVID-19: How docs, nurses, attendants got infected at SSH


Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, May 13: Three nurses, one doctor and a sweeper are among 15 people who have tested positive for the COVID-19 at Super Specialty Hospital Srinagar, creating a scare among the staff members and the patients over the spread of the virus.

This all started on April 29 when a patient who was admitted in plastic surgery ward tested positive. After which he was referred to the Chest Disease Hospital.

Surprisingly, 10 patients and their attendants who were in the same ward where the patient was admitted were not quarantined.

“The patients and their attendants should have been quarantined. Since then 15 people have been tested positive including three nurses, one doctor, and sweeper while rest are patients and attendants. The family of the said doctor has also tested positive,” a doctor told news agency KINS.

Two people who were tested positive at the hospital also died.

The doctor claimed the hospital administration did not show any concern to contain the spread of virus. “They took things lightly. Even patients were not screened for COVID-19 prior to their admission. The hospital was not properly sanitised,” the doctor said.

On May 8, a 70-year-old patient was admitted to the hospital. His attendant son according to the doctor got infected in the hospital after coming in contact with a couple of other attendants. He died within 24 hours after admitted to the hospital. Four days later, his father also became victim of the deadly disease.

“When the patient was admitted he was COVID-19 suspect because of some symptoms. But hospital administration told us that we should treat him as non-COVID till his reports came. We were not given any protective gear. One of the nurses who tested positive had come in contact with the said patient. The nurse also resided in the hostel for days and shared a room with other nurses despite she had brought into the notice of the hospital administration she had come in with a positive case. We were not provided personal protective equipment despite our repeated requests,” a nurse at Super Speciality Hospital claimed.

At least 40 staff members who have come in contact with COVID patients have been sent into quarantine. Maximum among them are nurses.

“Why 15 people including nurses and doctors of the non-COVID hospital tested positive? Why not in hospitals where coronavirus patients are being treated,” the nurse asked.

The nurse said the GMC Srinagar administration block has been shut after a clerk tested positive there. “But 15 cases have been tested positive here but hospital has not been declared contaminated. I don’t care about myself as being young I can fight it out if gets infected. But what about my old parents if they get infected because of me who are already immune compromised,” the nurse asked.

The super-specialty hospital provides facilities such as neurology, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, oncology, plastic surgery and others. So far urology and gastroenterology wards have been shut and new admissions to plastic surgeon department have been stopped.

Another nurse claimed that hospital administration was risking their lives.

“The infection has already transmitted in the hospital. We are vulnerable to catch infection. There is an isolation ward but there is no cabin and separate washroom,” another nurse said.

The nurse said government should provide them a hotel where they can stay after hospital duty instead of going home. “Who will like to infect their families,” they asked.

They protested on Monday against the authorities for not sending them into quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak. They were also joined by resident doctors, registrars, security guards, demanding personal protection equipment (PPEs), and accommodation for the front line workers.

Principal GMC Srinagar Dr Samia Rashid claimed that administration was addressing the issues of staff members of Super Specialty Hospital. “Administration has taken measures to contain virus from spread,” she said.(KINS)