More garment factory workers flock to hospitals

More garment factory workers flock to hospitals

The workers of Page Industries at Vimalaya Hospital on  Hosur road, Bangalore. DH photo by Poornima Nataraj

Page Industries has agreed to foot the medical expenses of its employees. Terming the entire issue a “minor incident”, General Manager Thomas Pius said: “Only 20 per cent of the employees have actually been affected. We have released around Rs 15 lakh for their treatment.” He, however, added that the factory had to bear loss as it had ceased to work for two days.

Chandre Gowda, HR Manager, Page Industries, said although the workers were registered under the ESI, the factory would bear the treatment expenses. “We have released Rs 12 lakh to Narayana Hrudayalaya out of which Rs 2 lakh has been paid by cash. We have paid some amount to St John’s Hospital and Vimalaya Hospital as well,” he said.

Several workers have revisited hospitals as the symptoms persisted in them. However, the actual number of workers taken ill is still not known. Around 750 patients have received treatment at Narayana Hrudayalaya so far, and 145 have been admitted, including one in the ICU.

Dr Murali Mohan, Head of the Department of Pulmonology and Medicine, Narayana Hrudayalaya, said most patients were doing well except a few. “We have even suspected E Coli (Escherichia coli) infection, a bacterial infection with a different stain. However, only test results will establish the actual cause for the infection,” he said.

Vimalaya Hospital received 100 patients out of which 32 have been admitted. It received around 35 patients who were discharged from Narayana Hrudayalaya.

The RMO of the hospital, Dr Satish Babu, said the symptoms of the infection still persist as the patients have taken no precautionary measures. “People are not taking extra care to drink clean, boiled water. Hygiene is also not maintained,” he said. As many as 30 patients have been admitted to St John’s Hospital.

Although the real cause for the sickness is yet to be established, the State Health Department has said only the results of the samples will reveal the real cause.
“The patients are showing symptoms of gastroenteritis. However, the results of water samples will be out by Monday, and we will be able to establish the real cause by then,” said Dr Thimmappa, District Health Officer.

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