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Indian nationals after they were brought by an Air India aircraft from China's coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan, stand in a queue at a quarantine facility set up by ITBP, at Chhawla area in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

Docs treating suspected coronavirus cases at Stanley hosp want safety gear

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Contrary to the assertions of the Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, four suspected coronavirus patients admitted at the Stanley Medical College hospital, Chennai, have not been quarantined as there no wards that could keep them isolated. It also has come to light that safety equipment are unavailable to the healthcare workers of the hospital.

In a letter dated February 7, the Internal Medicine Residents of the college wrote to the Head of their Department demanding that “isolation and quarantine wards, as per the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines,” be set up.

“We are aware that four suspected Corona Virus patients were admitted on February 5. Two symptomatic cases were admitted in the first floor and 2 asymptomatic cases were admitted in the sixth floor of the NTB block where there is a high inflow of patients and visitors. Even after 48 hours, proper isolation and quarantine measures haven’t been taken as per CDC and the WHO guidelines, risking the lives of all healthcare workers, patients and visitors inside the hospital premises” the students’ letter said.

They also demanded adequate safety apparatus for all healthcare workers in the hospital.

Speaking to The Federal, Dr GR Ravindranath, general secretary, Doctors Association for Social Equality, said even if a patient displayed symptoms of Coronavirus, even remotely, the doctors and staff attending to the patient must be given proper suits and safety equipment.

“The medical students and staff are at risk. The state health minister keeps on saying that there are no cases. But we have seen some suspected cases. The PG students are forced to attend to those patients even without proper masks and other paraphernalia” he alleged.

The dean of the college was not available for comment.

The state health minister, however, on Friday (February 7) reiterated that all the samples, tested so far, for Coronavirus is negative.

“Tamil Nadu is safe from Coronavirus. However, state health department is highly vigilant and fully alert. Isolation wards are ready and dedicated teams are deployed to combat the situation” he tweeted.

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