Hospital staff forced into quarantine

GEORGE TOWN: As Penang braces for a possible spike in Covid-19 cases, 59 members of a medical team from the Penang Adventist Hospital (PAH) were forced into quarantine after coming in direct contact with a patient from Kulim, Kedah, who sought treatment there.

Two doctors and 57 nurses were ordered to home quarantine after the 56-year-old woman later tested positive for Covid-19.

PAH chief executive officer Ronald Koh confirmed that the medical team had undergone Covid-19 antigen tests and are now under strict stay-home order.

“We closed off the ward, with thorough cleaning and disinfection done.

“We temporarily closed the hospital as well and will resume services tomorrow.

“It is unfortunate.

“It can happen at any hospital, ” Koh said yesterday.

Meanwhile, a housewife has decided to self-quarantine after finding out that she could

have been exposed to Covid-19 through an individual who came in contact with one of the PAH nurses.

“I discovered that I was exposed to people who were in physical contact with the nurse.

“I did not know about this initially but found out later that we were in a line of contact.

“To be safe, I decided to self-quarantine for 14 days until the end of August.

“I told my family members about this as well to avoid contact with them, ” she said.

On Aug 7, the Kulim patient was admitted to PAH due to a leg wound infection and was asymptomatic upon admission.

Through contact tracing later on, the patient was identified as a close contact and sister-in-law of the index case in Kedah’s Tawar cluster and was transferred promptly to the Penang Hospital, where she tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.

The Tawar cluster involved family members who attended a memorial service of the death of a family member, held from July 31 to Aug 1.

Yesterday, the Health Ministry announced that Penang has two more new cases, also connected to the Tawar cluster.

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