LGH Orthopaedic Unit closed after 16 medics contract virus

Updated May 22, 2020

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20 booked for ransacking property at Mayo; 298 more test positive for Covid-19 in Lahore. — AFP/File
20 booked for ransacking property at Mayo; 298 more test positive for Covid-19 in Lahore. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Lahore General Hospital management has closed down its orthopaedic department after 16 doctors of the unit tested positive for the virus.

The facility was shut down on the recommendation of head of orthopaedic department Prof Dr Mohammad Hanif.

While writing a letter to principal of Ameeruddin Medial College/LGH Prof Dr Sardar Mohammad Al-Fareed Zafar, Dr Hanif suggested to shut down the facility for a period of at least 10 days to prevent more medics and employees of his unit from the coronavirus.

“It is stated that 16 doctors of orthopaedic unit tested positive during the last one week and the remaining medics are in quarantine”, reads the letter.

20 booked for ransacking property at Mayo; 298 more test positive for Covid-19 in Lahore

Following the recommendations, the institute has closed down the ward to disinfect it and shifted the patients to other units or departments.

He said the virus spread from a house officer who was working in the ward with flu and temperature.

“Suspecting him patient of coronavirus, the institution sent his swabs and the reports confirmed him a patient of Covid-19”, Prof Fareed said adding that shortly after receiving reports, the hospital performed tests of other medics including head of the orthopaedic ward.

The reports of five medics, including head of the unit, tested them negative while others were isolated on being positive patients of Covid-19, the principal of AMC said.

Prof Dr Mohammad Hanif had also been suggested to avoid visiting to his office, he said adding that the routine list of surgeries at the orthopaedic ward were postponed and only emergency operations would be performed.

To a question, he said around 30 medics from various wards of the Lahore General Hospital tested positive for the virus since the pandemic.

Another senior doctor of Shahdara Teaching Hospital was put on ventilator at Mayo Hospital due to complications of the coronavirus.

He was confirmed as patient of Covid-19 some 10 days back and during that time he isolated himself at his home.

During home isolation, his condition got critical when the virus hit his lungs and he collapsed due to breathing problems.

The senior doctor of medicine department was rushed to the Mayo Hospital two days back and the medics shifted him to the intensive care unit and put him on ventilator.

In another case, some relatives of a female suspected patient [Covid-19] attacked the duty staff and damaged public property at Mayo Hospital when the duty medics shifted her to the corona ward.

The attendants of the patient beat up the security guard and tried to take the patient out of the hospital forcibly, claiming that she was not a patient of coronavirus.

The security guard suffered multiple injuries and was shifted to the emergency ward for treatment. The hospital staff called the police and the assailants fled the scene to avoid arrests.

The Gowalmandi police lodged a case against 20 attackers on the complaint of the hospital’s administration.

Meanwhile, seven more confirmed patients of Covid-19 died while 697 others tested positive for the virus during the last 24 hours across the province.

The total number of deaths in Punjab reached 297 with 17,382 confirmed cases so far.Most of the new confirmed cases (298) were reported from Lahore followed by 95 from Rawalpindi, 88 from Multan, 44 from Gujranwala and 27 from Faisalabad.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2020