The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru has shifted its emergency care unit to adjacent buildings within the premises, after a patient who was admitted there tested positive for the novel coronavirus.The entire building, where the emergency unit is situated, is being sanitised and is expected to be fit for use again by Tuesday, sources said.
In a note, NIMHANS director Dr BN Gangadhar said, “A 34-year-old person with mental illness requiring emergency care was brought to the hospital on Friday. She was admitted for observation. She tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 though she did not show any symptoms of COVID-19.”
NIMHANS authorities said that the patient was brought to the facility by police after she was found wandering in Gurappanapalya (BTM Layout) on Friday. Sources further said that she was tested as she came from a high-risk area and her test returned positive on Saturday night, following which the shifting and sanitisation process began.
A nurse working in NIMHANS said that at the time of admission, it was not known that the patient was from a hotspot area as the police did not inform them. It was only later that day it was found that she came from a high-risk area and needs to be tested.
“The normal screening procedure of thermal scanning and other related protocols were followed by the medical institution but she could not be identified initially as a suspected case she was asymptomatic,” the nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, told TNM.
According to the institution, the woman has been sent to Victoria Hospital following standard protocol while the other patients and staff who were on duty during the period have been sent to quarantine.
The woman’s mother, who was also traced, has been sent to Bowring Hospital for testing.
NIMHANS authorities said that details about low- and high-risk patients among those quarantined will be disclosed in the coming days.
“Apart from those under quarantine, the other patients and the staff have been shifted to a private ward in the institution. Since the COVID-19 cases were increasing in the city and anticipating such a situation, the authorities had already identified and readied this ward. Besides, the staff members were always wearing masks and gloves. So far, only the staff at the triage area have been provided with a full set of PPE (personal protective equipment) kits,” said the nurse.