Two Chinese nationals have been admitted to the Internal Medicine department at Chennai’s Stanley Medical College and Hospital over fears of coronavirus spread.
The two men had arrived in Chennai about two weeks prior and were admitted for observation and monitoring in view of the recent outbreak of the virus.
“Though neither of them were showing any symptoms, they were taken to the hospital in view of the recent outbreak of the virus. They are doing well and are stable, a team of doctors is routinely monitoring them. We are currently awaiting their test results which have yet to return. Once the reports are back, if it’s confirmed that they are negative for the virus, we will discharge them soon,” said Dr K Kolandasamy, the state’s Director of Public Health (DPH) to TNM.
As of Saturday afternoon, there have been no confirmed cases reported from the state.
“Till now 36 samples have been taken from the passengers and sent for testing at King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Guindy, Chennai (32), National Institute of Virology, Pune (4). The samples of 32 passengers are processed and negative for coronavirus infection. The results of the remaining passengers are awaited. The health status of the passengers under observation in home and hospitals is stable,” reads a release issued by the state Health department.
Screening of passengers from China, Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong is being done at 22 airports across the country. While 1,603 individuals have been placed under home quarantine by health officials, 11 others have been admitted to different government hospitals and are being monitored by doctors.
Lack of isolation wards at Stanley Hospital?
According to sources from Stanley Hospital, the individuals under observation have not been placed in separate isolation wards.
“We have no issues tending to patients who are under isolation, but we are not provided with the appropriate protective gear,” said one resident doctor.
A group of Internal Medicine resident doctors had even written a letter to the HoD of the Internal Medicine Department asking for appropriate personal protective equipment to be provided to all staff members handling any potential coronavirus cases. Furthermore, they also sought an isolation ward to be set up for suspected cases.
“Even after 48 hours [post admission of the patients], proper Isolation and Quarantine measures haven’t been taken as per CDC and WHO guidelines, risking the lives of all healthcare workers, patients, and visitors inside the hospital premises,” reads the letter by the Department’s doctors.