The cardiology and medicine department of the Madras Medical College (MMC) in Chennai is under watch after a doctor and two nurses tested positive for Covid-19.
Early last week, a 60-year-old cardiac patient came for consultation in the medicine department of the hospital. He was referred to cardiology department where he was treated for heart ailment but he expired, sources tell Outlook. He was neither suspected nor tested for COVID-19.
A week later, the cardiologist who treated the patient and two staff nurses, one each from medicine and cardio department, one of whom has a 10-month old baby, developed Covid-19 symptoms, and tested positive.
Dr Jayanthi Rangarajan, Dean, MMC has confirmed the cases saying the cardio department has been relocated and the whole building is being sanitised.
Initially it was suspected that the infection might have spread to more health workers as also the doctor’s roommate and his two more friends. Two other nurses also had fever. “The doctor’s family member and friends and all other contacts have tested negative. The doctor and the nurses are in complete isolation and they are stable at this moment,” says Dr Jayanthi.
But this incident has once again raised questions about safety of healthcare workers in hospitals. “There are many asymptomatic patients and atypical presentation of Covid-19. Unless the government comes up with proper strategies, there is the threat of a mass outbreak among health care workers,” says a doctor associated with the hospital.