ESIC was responding to a report in TNM on COVID-19 cases being reported among staff and patients at its hospital in Sanath Nagar, Hyderabad.

ESIC refutes media reports claims vested interests spreading panic about COVID-19 cases in hospital
news Coronavirus Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 18:19

The Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospital, Sanath Nagar in Hyderabad on Tuesday stated that reports about its staff and patients testing positive for COVID-19 in the hospital were false. The hospital accuses a few of its employees of having a vested interest in attempting to spreading panic so that they do not have to come to the hospital for work.

Earlier on June 14 TNM had reported that seven staff members working at the ESIC and eight patients had tested COVID-19 positive and that close to 100 staff members were under quarantine. The ESIC hospital administration in a press statement said that the “report is false in its entirety.”

Read:  COVID-19 cases in Hyderabad ESIC hospital: Staff allege many violated quarantine

The ESIC administration press statement to TNM on Tuesday read, “Few people with vested interest are spreading the panic to collapse the services and want to shut down the hospital so that they do not have to come to the hospital for work.”

ESIC claims they had been instructed by the Telangana Government to prepare for isolation wards and critical care ICU. The hospital says they have constituted a COVID-19 committee “to work in a preemptive and proactive way so as to immediately curtail the source and spread of infection,” at the hospital.

TNM its report has stated that a nursing orderly who was handling COVID-19 samples had tested positive. ESIC stated that this case was not an instance of a hospital-acquired infection but instead the nursing orderly is suspected to have contracted the disease after returning from attending a function in Mahabubnagar district. The hospital says contact tracing was done by the community medicine department proactively to identify the contacts and screen them to curtail any spread. "All the negative cases who were high risk cases have been advised for home quarantine," the statement said. It however made no mention if any of the other contacts tested positive.

The nursing orderly had suspected that she contracted the disease while placing COVID-19 samples in a refrigerator without adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). ESIC has refuted these allegations and states that all ICRM guidelines are being followed at the hospital.

In response to media reports about the hospital administration filing a police complaint against its employee for a WhatsApp status informing colleagues about the positive COVID-19 cases in the hospital, ESIC administration stated, “A complaint was lodged for creating panic due to spread of false information among patients in the time of pandemic which is a punishable offence as notified by the government of Telangana."

The statement further read, “Every employee is bound by the Central Civil Service rules where in any grievance in patient care or service matters can be represented to the competent authority address". The hospital administration claims no grievances on patient care was received.

The hospital administration blames the staff for their statements to the media as an attempt to vilify the efforts of the institution due to their own vested interest. They have also requested media to not publish the name of the person and the test status as they are confidential.

TNM would like to add that hospital administration had confirmed three COVID-19 cases including a patient at the hospital, sources had later told our reporter that this number had gone upto 7.

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