Delhi govt’s cancer hospital shuts after doctor tests positive for coronavirus
A 35-year-old doctor at the Delhi State Cancer Institute has tested positive for the coronavirus disease forcing authorities to suspend the hospital’s out-patient clinics to sanitise the premises, officials said on Wednesday.
The doctor from the institute’s preventive oncology department is admitted at the Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital in Rohini. His wife and child have also been admitted to Lok Nayak hospital near Delhi Gate.
Officials said the source of his infection is unclear.
“He has no history of foreign travel or treating any Covid-19 patients. So, the source of the infection is still a question mark,” an official from the Delhi government’s health department, said.
“His brother and sister-in-law did travel to the UK in February, but they haven’t tested positive for the infection,” the official quoted above said.
Since the lockdown, the hospital saw around 100-150 cancer patients in OPD. Before that, the OPD attendance was between 1000 and 1500 a day.
“We cannot take a risk. Only the cancer patient in emergent need of care is coming to the hospital right now and they are immunocompromised. We have to shut the OPD to sanitise the premises to ensure that no one gets it,” Dr BL Sherwal, director of the Delhi State Cancer Institute, said.
More doctors infected
He is the fourth doctor in the Capital to test positive for the coronavirus disease after two Mohalla Clinic doctors and a private practitioner from Hari Nagar contracted the disease.
A doctor couple from two Delhi Mohalla Clinics in the northeast region had tested positive for the coronavirus disease on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old doctor, who worked in a mohalla clinic in Maujpur, was diagnosed on March 21 after being infected from a patient who returned from Saudi Arabia.
His 48-year-old wife, who also worked in a neighbouring clinic in Baburpur, and 17-year-old daughter tested positive for the disease on March 25.
The city’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme is tracking all the people who came into contact with the doctor couple, as well as the 38-year old index patient.
Ten people have been infected from the 38-year-old Dilshad Garden resident, who returned from Saudi Arabia, so far.
At least 3800 people who came in contact with the index patient, the doctor, or his wife, including patients from the two mohalla clinics, are being tracked by the programme’s officials.
Around 1200 people who came in contact with the index patient are also being tracked. All of them have all been quarantined at home and if they develop symptoms, they will be taken to a hospital.
There are 121 Covid-19 patients in the Capital as the number of coronavirus cases in India climbed to 1663 on Wednesday. At least 50 people have died and 150 have been cured or discharged after treatment till date, according to Centre’s data.