- Wockhardt Hospital shut, declared containment zone
- Probe ordered to examine record rise in number of cases
- More than 270 patients, nurses being tested
A hospital in Mumbai - one of the COVID-19 hotspots in India listed by the government - has been temporarily shut and declared a containment zone after three doctors and 26 nurses tested positive for the highly contagious novel coronavirus. A probe has also been ordered to investigate the unprecedented spike in the number of cases and rapid spread of COVID-19 at the Wockhardt Hospital, officials said.
Nobody will be allowed to enter or exit the building till all the patients admitted at the hospital test negative twice. More than 270 patients and nurses are being tested. The outpatient department and emergency services have been suspended; hospital canteen will provide food to the patients and nurses.
In a statement, Wockhardt Hospital said, "The hospital adheres to the highest global standards of infection and quality control. The source of the infection is identified as a 70 year old patient who was admitted to the hospital on March 17 for a cardiac emergency. The patient was asymptomatic (showed no symptoms of COVID19)."
"On March 26, the patient developed cough, and was tested for COVID19, which turned out positive. The hospital staff were unknowingly exposed to the infection in the time period. We are informing the healthcare sector at large not to be misled by asymptomatic patients," the statement added.
An aggressive containment plan was released by Union Health Ministry on Sunday for large outbreaks of COVID-19, which includes buffer zones and sealing off areas for nearly a month. The strategy is meant to contain the illness caused by a novel coronavirus, first detected in China in December. The 20-page document says the aggressive containment strategy will be scaled down only if no new cases of COVID-19 are reported for at least four weeks after the last confirmed test.
Mumbai, one of the worst hit metro cities by coronavirus outbreak in India, has reported 458 of Maharashtra's 745 cases. The state, which has the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the country, has recorded 45 deaths so far linked to COVID-19 and 30 of these deaths have been registered from Mumbai.
The city is also home to one of the largest slums in Asia - Dharavi - where five cases, including one death, were reported last week. Over a million people live here within five square kilometres.
Across India, more than 4,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus so far, death count has crossed the 100-mark, the Union Health Ministry said today.
Over 1,000 of India's total cases are connected to the event organised by the Islamic sect Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi's Nizamuddin area last month.