Kerala: 25 docs among 75 SCTIMST workers in isolation

25 doctors among 75 SCTIMST employees placed under isolation in Kerala

Medical staff members wear masks and protective suits to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, outside the special isolation ward of District Hospital Aluva in Kochi, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (PTI Photo)

At least 25 doctors are among 75 employees of a premier health institute here who have been kept under isolation in the wake of a Spain returned doctor testing positive for coronavirus.

Though there is no shutdown, only emergency surgeries are being held at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology institute, sources told PTI. The Radiology department has been disinfected according to state protocol.

"We have identified 75 employees, including at least 25 doctors who have come under the primary contact list and they have been placed under isolation", the sources said.

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Their family members have been asked to continue in home isolation. The doctor, who returned from Spain on March 1, came to the hospital the next day wearing gloves and a mask. He reported to the institute's infection control team, who in turn informed DISHA, comprising trained social workers and counsellors, who answer questions about COVID-19, was informed, the sources said.

Since Spain had not then been brought under the high risk category and the doctor did not have any symptoms,he was asked by DISHA to wait for five more days and come to the institute.

The doctor came to the hospital on March 10 and there was indirect contact with two patients at the Radiology department, the sources said. On March 11, after Spain was declared a high risk area, the doctor was asked by the Medical Superintendent to go on leave.

He developed symptoms on March 13 and tested positive for the virus.

The doctor did not go for any surgery, OP or cathlab procedure while at the hospital, the sources said. Minister of state for External Affairs V Muraleedharan had held a meting at the institute on March 14 at the director's office, in which heads of various departments had participated.

SCTIMST, an Institution of National Importance under the Department of Science and Technology, has the status of a university and offers excellent research and training facilities. It has three wings- a tertiary referral super specialty hospital, a biomedical technology wing and the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies.

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