All 74 healthcare providers of the NRS Medical College and Hospital who were quarantined over the weekend for being exposed to a coronavirus patient have tested negative for Covid-19.
They will undergo a second round of tests soon before they are discharged from quarantine, a hospital official said.
“If the second round of tests is also negative, the healthcare providers will be in a position to return to work. The final decision will be taken by doctors. It also depends on the discretion of the doctor whether they can join work,” said a health department official.
Health officials had earlier said that 79 doctors and other healthcare providers of the state-run hospital had been quarantined and their samples sent for Covid-19 tests. But an official said on Wednesday that 74 people, 39 of them doctors, had been quarantined.
The Telegraph had reported in Wednesday’s edition that the test reports of 30 of those quarantined were negative. The reports of the rest of the tests arrived late on Tuesday and all were negative.
While some of the healthcare providers — doctors, nurses, cleaners and other personnel — have been quarantined at a hotel in New Town, some others have been quarantined in their homes.
The patient, a man in his 30s, died at the hospital on Saturday after being admitted to the male general ward with a blood disorder three to four days before. He had not shown any symptoms of coronavirus infection, an official said. No extra precautions had, therefore, been taken while treating him. The patient was shifted to the critical care unit when his condition worsened.
By then he had started showing symptoms of Covid-19 and his swab sample was sent for a test. “He tested positive but the report came after his death. All healthcare providers who had been exposed to him were quarantined,” the official said.
The healthcare providers were tested on Monday and Tuesday, more than four days after they had likely been exposed to the patient.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had on Monday urged people with Covid-19 symptoms to visit only hospitals designated for coronavirus patients. The call came after the medical service providers at NRS were quarantined.