NIMHANS shifts ward as 3 patients test COVID-19 +ve

NIMHANS high intensive psychiatry observation ward temporarily shifted after three patients test COVID-19 positive

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The high intensive psychiatry observation ward of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) was temporarily shifted after three patients tested COVID-19 positive on Saturday evening.

Patients who are suicidal and are unable to take care of themselves are housed in this ward. Dr Shashidhara HN, Resident Medical Officer, NIMHANS, said, "The first patient is a 34-year-old who was brought to the psychiatry emergency and ICU block. She was placed in the holding area awaiting admission. After she tested COVID-19 positive, she was shifted to Victoria Hospital, and four patients adjacent to her were quarantined in another block. 20 other patients were shifted to another block as a precaution. The emergency and psychiatric ICU services were started in an adjacent block."

The second patient is a 30-year-old neurosurgery patient, who was to undergo an elective surgery for meningioma and was kept in the pre-operation holding ward but tested COVID-19 positive. She was also shifted to Victoria Hospital and seven other patients in the ward are being monitored.

Both these patients live within a five km radius of NIMHANS. The third is a 32-year-old hospital assistant at NIMHANS unrelated to the first two patients who tested positive. She has also been shifted to Victoria hospital. The 10 patients and 10 other healthcare workers of that ward are being monitored.

This patient was kept separate as a COVID-19 suspect so the infection spread is less as compared to earlier cases. "The advantage of NIMHANS is that it has multiple blocks, which are geographically separated. Hence, services can be immediately relocated without hindering any service," Dr Shashidhara said.

In all, two psychiatry patients, one neurosurgery patient and 10 staff members of NIMHANS have tested COVID-19 positive till now. Three staff members had a history of interstate travel while seven were victims of local transmission. Seven staff members who have tested COVID-19 positive are women while three are men.