Orthopaedic services in Ankara hospital reopen after COVID-19 outbreak

Orthopaedic services in Turkish capital Ankara’s public Dışkapı Education and Research Hospital have reopened after remaining closed for two weeks due to at least seven doctors testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Saturday.

The doctors are suspected to have contracted the virus from Kürşat Demir, an intern in the service who lived with his mother who was quarantined after returning from Italy.

Demir had been forced to continue working by the clinic chief Dr Önder Ersan after he started to show symptoms, Cumhuriyet said. The intern was put on duty in surgery rooms and clinics while he ran a fever, and was only able to start treatment after others in the service intervened.

Ersan himself later tested positive, after which the service was shut down for 14 days and its staff quarantined.

“Don’t make a fuss because a few people fell ill,” the clinic chief was reported to have told service staff back when the COVID-19 outbreak was first picking up speed. “The disease doesn’t spread that easily. You can leave if you don’t like it.”

Kürşat Demir has since recovered, Cumhuriyet said. The intern donated plasma after his recovery to be used in treatment for coronavirus patients.