Mumbai hospital shut after surge in cases among staff

India’s coronavirus toll reaches 109, infections top 4000

Agence France-Presse . Mumbai | Published: 01:28, Apr 07,2020


A major private hospital in Mumbai was shut to new patients and declared a coronavirus containment zone on Monday after 26 nurses and three doctors tested positive, an official said.

Since the virus hit India — which has been under lockdown since March 25 with 109 deaths so far — medical workers have complained about not being given adequate protective gear.

India on Monday saw the highest surge in Coronavirus death toll so far as it crossed the 100-mark, registering 32 fatalities in the last 24 hours alone.

It also reported 693 fresh cases, which is also the highest single day jump so far, taking the total number of infections above 4000, reports The Statesman.

According to the ministry of health and Family Welfare, India has recorded 4067 confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus including 109 deaths.

But experts caution the real numbers are likely to be far higher, with the country carrying out little testing of its 1.3 billion population compared to many other countries.

Mumbai city authority spokesman Vijay Khabale-Patil said that the Wockhardt Hospital has been declared a ‘containment zone’ after the cases were confirmed.

‘Three hundred staffers have been quarantined and the hospital is shut,’ he said.

The United Nurses Association in Mumbai accused hospital management of failing to protect staff by refusing to let them wear appropriate safety gear.

‘They told the medical staffers to wear simple (surgical) masks... and attend to the patient,’ said Akash S Pillai, UNA general secretary for Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital.

‘They were thinking that if the staff wore protective gear, family members of COVID-19 patients would get scared,’ he said.

‘Many well-known hospitals in Mumbai and Pune are putting their staffers through the same risks,’ he said.

He added that Wockhardt waited too long to carry out tests on its staff, thereby increasing the possibility for infections to spread.

Meanwhile, amid criticism for not reaching out to the opposition even as the country faced a grave health crisis and a 21-day lockdown, prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called up several opposition leaders, including Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, besides former prime ministers and presidents of the country.

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