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Attendants, visitors allowed unchecked into isolation ward

The police and district authorities have been stringent in ensuring that the people maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Attendants, visitors allowed unchecked into isolation ward
File pic of EPS visiting the new facility in March


However, the 24x7 exclusive fever clinic for testing all suspected cases at the Omandurar Government Medical College and Hospital presents a disconcerting picture, with attendants and visitors seen moving around freely. This has raised questions about safety measures at the quarantine facilities, fever clinic and the waiting hall of the hospital. Suspected cases under quarantine have been accommodated at the special facility at the hospital that has been designated as a dedicated COVID-19 facility. But the quarantine space has been witnessing crowding of those under isolation.

Also, though the testing laboratory, pharmacy and pathological lab inside the fever clinic are well equipped and follow social distancing, those who are tested sit in groups right opposite the clinic.

Another risk is specific to the sanitary workers. While doctors, lab technicians and other medical personnel are seen wearing proper body suits and personal protective equipment, the sanitary workers just have a mask. These workers not only clean the premises, including laboratories and quarantine facilities, but also dispose of the biomedical waste at the hospital. Their safety protocol seems to be inadequate.Visitors are also seen coming to the hospital with food for those under quarantine and those bringing packaged food on bikes, with no checking at the hospital entrance.

The visitors are allowed to go near the respective tower and hand out the packages. Children as young as 6-7 years can also be seen playing around in the hospital premises with no masks.

However, senior officials from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine claimed that no visitors are allowed inside the wards or the isolation facilities, adding even the sanitary workers have been given personal protective equipment.

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