Over 50 people, including doctors and nursing staff of a hospital in Bikaner, have been quarantined after samples taken from a 60-year-old woman, who died, tested positive for coronavirus, officials have said.
The staff at the state-run PBM Hospital had handed over the body of the woman to her family members on Friday afternoon but the results of the COVID-19 test came at night, they said. By then, the family members had already cremated the body, the officials said on Sunday.
An inquiry was ordered after the matter came to light. Realising the mistake, a rapid response team was rushed to quarantine the family members, they have said.
“After the matter came to light, a report was sought from the medical college principal and hospital superintendent,” Bikaner District Collector Kumar Pal Gautam has said.
Bikaner Chief Medical and Health Officer B L Meena said 20 family members of the deceased, 15 neighbours and as many hospital staff have been quarantined.
“The woman was earlier admitted to a private hospital before being referred to PBM Hospital. Six staffers of the private hospital have been isolated,” Meena said.
PBM Hospital superintendent B K Gupta said resident doctors and nursing staff of the unit have been isolated as a precautionary measure. “There has been a lapse but the body was handed over to family following all necessary guidelines,” he added.
According to the hospital authorities, the 60-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital’s emergency ICU on the night of April 1 and shifted to a general ward a few hours later. On April 2, she was shifted to a swine flu ward and then again on Friday she was taken to the isolation ward meant for coronavirus suspects and her samples were taken.
She was taken into the ICU in the afternoon the same day where she died. The test report for coronavirus came in the night, but by then the hospital staff had handed over the body to family members.