17 more occupants of shelter near AIIMS test positive for Covid-19
Seventeen occupants of a shelter near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Friday, more than a week after 21 from the same shelter were found to have the contagious infection.
The shelter houses outstation patients who visit the national capital to be treated at the premier institute, as well as their caretakers and relatives. Officials said the infections in the shelter could be traced to two kidney patients who tested positive on May 18. Friday’s positive cases take the total number of Covid-19 cases in the shelter to 40.
All of the occupants who tested positive on Friday were quarantined contacts of the 21 who tested positive on May 21.
Apart from the 17, an occupant of another shelter that also houses outstation AIIMS patients also tested positive. Both shelters are run by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).
District magistrate (south) BM Mishra, said, “All the 18 occupants tested positive on Friday and were shifted to AIIMS Jhajjar quarantine facility. We requested the AIIMS authorities to admit these occupants to the hospital here, but they preferred to send them to Jhajjar.”
Mishra added that at the shelter near AIIMS where 17 tested positive, around 35 remaining occupants have been put under in-situ quarantine.
Samples of all the other occupants of the temporary shelter where one person tested positive were collected on Saturday to test for Covid-19.
A senior district official, who asked not to be named, said, “Initially after the 21 cases were reported from here, we requested the shelter authorities to move the remaining occupants out to nearby schools, but they refused. The shelter home should have been cleared and sanitised for a few days.”
However, DUSIB officials refuted the claim.
“It is the district authorities who decide which set of people will be put in quarantine, and where. We did not get any such request to move occupants out from the shelter. We have been sanitising the shelters regularly and have also fixed minor issues like low water supply,” said a senior DUSIB official, who did not wish to be named.
The Delhi high court in an order this week had asked the Delhi government, DUSIB and AIIMS authorities to improve their coordination in such cases.