Pims seals MCH, operating theatre after 15 staffers test positive

Updated 06 May 2020


MCH doctor says she displayed Covid-19 symptoms for three days but had to continue working. — APP/File
MCH doctor says she displayed Covid-19 symptoms for three days but had to continue working. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) and the operating theatre in the Children’s Hospital were sealed on Tuesday after 15 people from both facilities were diagnosed with Covid-19.

Around 30 patients admitted to the Mother and Child Hospital have also been discharged with directions to visit other hospitals in case of emergencies and three serious cases were referred to Capital Hospital.

Pims Executive Director Dr Ansar Maxood said the facilities were sealed to prevent the coronavirus was spreading further in the hospital.

“MCH has been closed for eight days and the operating theatre will stay closed for three or four days. They will be completely disinfected,” he added.

MCH doctor says she displayed Covid-19 symptoms for three days but had to continue working despite staff requests to seal facility

Dr Maxood said two doctors and three staffers from the Mother and Child Hospital have tested positive for Covid-19. Of the employees tested at the Children’s Hospital, 10 came back positive on Tuesday.

He said that both the hospital and the operating theatre will be made functional once they have been disinfected. Staff have also been asked to take precautionary measures.

In a video, a doctor from the Mother and Child Hospital said that a doctor from her batch tested positive for Covid-19 three days ago.

“I have had symptoms for the last three days but was continuously performing duties, as the management did not heed our request to seal the MCH and begin contact tracing,” she said. “We had to come to the hospital, and other staff members were also infected.”

The doctor said she had quarantined herself in a room that lacked even a toilet as she could not go home, because of her son and her elderly father.

“No one bothered to give me a room,despite saying thatI am one of the hospital’s doctors and should be admitted on a priority basis. I spoke to the executive director and he said he was trying to locate room for me. I finally decided to record a video so that I am provided a room,” she said.

She added: “It is unfortunate that the government salutes [health professionals] but is not willing to provide isolation rooms.”

The doctor was later moved to a private room in the hospital.

Pims Joint Executive Director Dr Minhajus Siraj said that around 30 patients were discharged from the Mother and Child Hospital with directions that they can contact any hospital in case of an emergency.

“Three patients were in serious condition, so it was decided to refer them directly to Capital Hospital,” he said.

Previously, staff in the Pims accounts department and hospital store were also diagnosed with Covid-19. They were initially told to isolate themselves at home, but were later sent to an isolation facility in I-9.

Later Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza reached Pims to discuss the situation.

During a meeting with the doctors, he assured them that the personal protective equipment (PPE) would be provided to the hospital to ensure safety of staff. Late in the evening, supply was handed over to the Pims management.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2020