Hyderabad: The confirmation of coronavirus in a nurse from Kerala working in Saudi Arabia is the first case of an Indian health worker being affected by the virus. Before this reported case, only people who have travelled to or from Wuhan in China who have been infected.
Earlier, reports confirmed that 30 nurses working at the Azir Aba Al Hayat Hospital in Saudi Arabia were isolated and quarantined. Of these, the samples of 20 were sent for laboratory investigations. However, authorities said only one nurse was infected with the virus and the rest were quarantined as preventive measure.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday so-ught the external affairs minister’s intervention to ensure proper medical care for Malayalee nurses who have been quarantined for coronavirus in the Saudi hospital.
Malayalees send SoS to Indian Embassy
This followed the Malayalee nurses sending a message to the Indian Embassy in Riyadh complaining that they were not being given proper medical care or food by the hospital authorities.
Medical history shows that the nurse, who was working in the Asir Abha Al Hayat National Hospital, had contracted the infection from a Filipino woman who was being treated in the hospital.
Dr Mustufa Afzal, clinical microbiologist and infection specialist, explained,
‘This is the case of human to human transmission, where the spread is through contact and air droplets. This means that they have to take standard precautions of hand hygiene, wearing of N 95 respiratory masks, segregation of linens and isolation of patients.’
Transfer to a health worker means that they have to be very careful as their touch is a virus-carrier. They have to wear gloves, disposable gowns, shoe covers before entering any isolation ward. Healthcare workers have to refrain from touching their own eyes, nose and mouth with gloves during patient care, Dr Afzal said.
A senior government health worker explained, ‘Transfer of virus to a caregiver is an indication of transmission levels. The isolation that has been practiced in swine flu will have to be followed for the new corona virus too.’
According to an AFP report, V. Muraleedharan, Kerala minister of state for foreign affairs, said, ‘About 100 Indian nurses working at Al-Hayat Hospital have been tested. None except one nurse was found infected by corona virus. The affected nurse is being treated at Aseer National Hospital and is recovering well.’
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