RIMS OPD closed amid fear of community spread

IMPHAL, 20th Jul: Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal has closed its OPD block and several other departments for one week with immediate effect after an attendant of the department of respiratory medicine, RIMS hospital was found positive for Covid-19 on Monday.
As the attendant, who is a native of Thoubal district, was not posted in Covid-19 area, authority is not aware how the attendant got infected. The case has raised a question on the possibility of the state traversing into the stage of community transmission.
Meanwhile, following the detection, RIMS authority has taken up contact tracing activities and found that he visited Respiratory Medicine OPD, Respiratory Medicine Ward, ECG room in OPD Block, Radio-diagnosis department, Respiratory Medicine department, and Plastic Surgery department. Consequently, RIMS medical superintendent issued an order Monday to close down the OPD block and other ‘involved’ departments of the hospital for one week with immediate effect. However, emergency services will not be affected but only genuine cases of emergency will be entertained through Emergency/Casualty department with immediate effect until further order, the order stated.
It further informed all faculty members, nurses and other staff who were in close contact, and contacts of the contacts with the said attendant to get tested for COVID-19 on July 23 from 9 am onwards in front of General OPD, RIMS Hospital. Priority will be on high risk contact basis. The heads of departments concerned shall intimate the date of testing based on priority basis. It also asks all other staff of RIMS, who had history of contact with the said attendant, to voluntarily come forward for testing of COVID-19 on these days. The treatment of all the in-patients will continue until they are fit for discharge. Number of attendants for patients shall be restricted to two per patient. Epidemiological investigation and contact tracing inside RIMS has been initiated by the Community Medicine Department. The order also informed all the heads of departments/unit to reinforce the infection prevention and control measures very strictly to contain the spread of COVID-19.
It further directed the vice-president of CRED, RIMS to sanitise the departments/areas visited by the attendant by spraying and fogging with disinfectants urgently.
Mention may be made that there are at least 100 cases of local transmission in the state as of Monday. According to World Health Organisation, community transmission is evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories). Local transmission indicates locations where the source of infection is within the reporting location.

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