40 healthcare staff at AIIMS gastro dept in self-quarantine

New Delhi: Around 40 healthcare staff, including doctors and nurses working at the gastroenterology department in AIIMS, have been advised self-quarantine after a 30-year-old male nurse working with them tested positive for COVID-19, official sources said on Friday.

Contact tracing was immediately initiated and samples of these healthcare workers along with some patients from the ward where the male nurse was posted were sent for testing.

"Test results of around 22 people have come, which includes the results of four ICU patients. They have come back negative. Results of the others are awaited," a doctor said.

According to the doctor, the male nurse had fever on Saturday and had consulted on phone doctors at the clinic for AIIMS' employees the same evening.

He was advised to come for testing on Monday.

"As he had a post-duty off on Monday, he went for testing on Wednesday and his results came out to be positive on Wednesday night. Everybody came to know about this on Thursday," the doctor said.

The South Delhi district administration has written to the AIIMS director, saying that around 200 people, most of whom work in the hospital and stay in Chattarpur's Chandan Hola area, where the male nurse also lives, may also be asked to go for home quarantine.

The administration said these people maybe screened for COVID-19 and a report should be sent to it on priority basis.

The area where the male nurse stays is very densely populated with 100-225 people living in the same building and 80 per cent of them work at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the administration said in a letter.

"Till then, persons staying in that building may be home quarantined to prevent further community spread of the infection," it stated.

Last week, two female nurses, one from the cardiology department and one posted in the Trauma Centre of AIIMS had also tested positive for coronavirus. All those who came in contact with these two nurses have been asked to go for self-quarantine.

The Trauma Centre nurse's child and husband have also tested positive for the infection.

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 723 and the number of cases climbed to 23,452 in the country on Friday, according to the Union Health Ministry.

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