After a 35-year-old male nurse employed at Karnataka’s Ballari district government hospital tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Monday, the district administration is trying to find out how a person, who was wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), got infected.
Ballari Deputy Commissioner Nakul told TNM that the nurse was wearing PPE as he was monitoring patients who were coming in to give swab samples. He was also deployed as the staff at the isolation wards where patients with COVID-19 were housed.
“Ideally there is a zero per cent chance of getting infected if the person is wearing a PPE. The nurse was also wearing it. We are looking for two possibilities. He either did not wear the PPE as per protocol or he may have come into contact with someone outside the hospital, who could have been infected. So we are trying to find out how he got it,” he said.
So far, 15 of his primary contacts have been quarantined and their swab samples have been collected.
The nurse tested positive after a routine round of tests done for medical staff. Of the 15 staff who were tested, 14 results came back negative except for that of the 35-year-old nurse.
This is not the first instance of a medical staff contracting the virus despite wearing protective gear. On May 13, a 37-year-old nurse who was aiding patients with COVID-19 at Bengaluru’s Victoria Hospital tested positive for the Sars-Cov-2.
Her swab samples were also collected as part of the protocol, where doctors and nurses have to take the test after a 14-day quarantine on completing their COVID-19 duty. This testing is done on the 13th day of the quarantine period, after which they are allowed to go home, as TNM had earlier reported. In this case, too, all of the nurse’s colleagues on duty with her had tested negative. The health department had also said that the woman could have got it from her husband, who is a primary contact of a COVID-19 patient.
However, health officials have not yet traced the source of infection in her case.