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Head doctor quits Omsk hospital after media reports dozens of healthcare workers forming long lines for COVID-19 testing

Source: Meduza
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The head doctor at the Kabanov City Hospital No.1 in Omsk willingly resigned on May 5, after media reports drew attention to the clinic's staff forming a long lineup outside of the hospital building the day before. The employees were reportedly waiting to undergo coronavirus testing. The Omsk region’s Health Minister, Irina Soldatova, said that Sobolev, “was unable to save his team and could not take the necessary measures [to ensure] epidemiological safety.”

On May 4, Kabanov City Hospital No.1 was closed for a two-week quarantine because of a coronavirus outbreak. At the time, 417 patients and healthcare workers remained inside the building (the exact number of staff inside has yet to be confirmed). That evening, the hospital’s staff were asked to undergo coronavirus testing. The local publication NGS55.RU reported that the medics and their relatives had formed a long line outside of the hospital, and were not maintaining social distancing. The hospital employees, as well as pregnant women, and some of the staff’s children, reportedly stood in the line for at least an hour.

The lineup of healthcare workers outside of the Kabanov City Hospital No.1 in Omsk.
@ngs_omsk / Instagram

The hospital administration then allowed the staff into the waiting area. The local Health Ministry said that they intervened after seeing media reports about the lineup. “We went there immediately and set up a clear routing system. Within 10-15 minutes the problem was resolved,” Soldatova said. She also described the situation at the hospital as “beyond the pale.”

The coronavirus outbreak at Kabanov City Hospital No.1 began in the pulmonology department, after one of its nurses tested positive for COVID-19 on May 3. Since then, 16 hospital staff have been diagnosed with the disease, including four doctors, and 12 junior and mid-level specialists, the Health Ministry in Omsk reported. All of the staff in question were working in the pulmonology department.

In addition, only one of the department's pulmonology patients tested negative for COVID-19. All total, 15 patients have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, as well as several doctors who were transferred to another local hospital. The hospital's pulmonology department has since been disinfected. 

The Omsk Health Ministry insists that the hospital will not see a large-scale outbreak. So far, preliminary tests have shown that 70 percent of the facility's doctors and other hospital personnel do not have the disease. The Health Ministry head also said that everyone remaining inside the quarantined hospital will be tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours.

  • As of May 5, the Omsk region had 191 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 165 patients diagnosed in the city of Omsk itself. The region has seen five people die of the disease, while 42 others have recovered.
  • On the morning of May 6, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 10,559 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 165,929 patients.

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