Coronavirus Outbreak: Over 300 healthcare workers at Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, 100 family members test optimistic, say reports

Over 300 medical workers at Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital tested positive for coronavirus between 7 April and 2 June, News18 reported. Additionally, around 100 family members of these workers contracted the infection which has claimed 874 lives in the National Capital so far.

The hospital’s chairman DS Rana said that very few of those tested positive were posted in the COVID-19 ward. “313 employees have tested positive since April. We have maintained since the beginning the staff is at great risk and even asymptomatic persons are to be screened,” he told CNN-News18.

An FIR was registered against the hospital on 6 June, a day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responded to widespread complaints about hospitals refusing testing and admission of COVID-19 patients. In the complaint filed by a senior official of the Delhi health department, allegations of violating COVID-19 regulation norms issued under Epidemic Disease COVID-19, Regulation 2020 were levelled against Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

According to the complaint, the hospital was allegedly not using RT-PCR app while collecting COVID-19 samples. As per the guidelines, it is mandatory for labs to collect samples through RT-PCR app, it said.

The hospital, which was testing around 300 samples daily, was also asked to not conduct any tests amid allegations of not following protocols, PTI reported. Kejriwal in a virtual press conference on Saturday said: “Action has been taken against six of the 42 testing labs in the city for violating ICMR norms.”

The FIR invited sharp reactions from the Delhi Medical Association (DMA), which said that the action is “highly condemnable and demoralising for the whole medical fraternity”. The DMA also said that doctors who have been risking their lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives “feel insulted by the way they are being treated”. “Ganga Ram hospital and its doctors who have saved lakhs of lives in the last decades are being penalised and threatened,” the released noted.

The Association of Physicians’ Haryana chapter too condemned the intimidation faced by healthcare workers despite “serving the people of Delhi since three months”.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which has 675 beds, was declared a COVID-19 facility on 4 June and asked to reserve 80 percent of its beds for coronavirus patients.

As of Tuesday, Delhi has reported 29,843 confirmed coronavirus cases and remains one of the worst-affected cities in the country.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 09, 2020 11:19:49 IST

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