KOLKATA: The army employed three different sanitising teams to decontaminate its command hospital in Kolkata, after a doctor there tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. It has also put under quarantine close to 30 doctors and staff who had come in contact with him.
The army is trying to identify all the people who had come in contact with the 52-year-old army doctor in Delhi, where he had travelled to earlier this month, and in Kolkata. They will also be quarantined.
“The sanitisation of the entire Eastern Command Hospital in Kolkata was done on Sunday night,” said an official who didn’t want to be named.
The decontamination was done especially at the hospital’s operation theatre, because the doctor is an anaesthetist, said another official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity.
A command hospital is the most important medical facility of an army command, and all patients of the armed forces who cannot be provided adequate treatment at other military hospitals of that formation are referred there.
The doctor’s condition is stable, said the official. Others on quarantine are housed at a different facility in Kolkata. “These are about 10-15 doctors and an equal number of staff members,” the official said.
Officials said the doctor had travelled to Delhi on March 10 and returned to Kolkata on March 17.
A 47-year-old junior commissioned officer in the army, posted near Dehradun, also tested positive for the disease on Sunday. He had travelled to Delhi from Dehradun by bus on February 25 and thereafter headed to Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. On March 11, he returned to Delhi and headed to Dehradun the same day.
Army chief General MM Naravane, while launching an initiative termed ‘Operation Namaste’ that involves extending help to the government to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, had last week instructed his men to take all necessary precautions against the pandemic. The army has been issuing advisories with instructions to its personnel on maintaining social distancing and precautions to safeguard themselves.