Voronezh residents with suspected coronavirus infection must spend 14 days in a hospital under the supervision of doctors. They will be tested, and the results of tests will confirm or deny the presence of the virus. The Voronezh Regional Children's Clinical Hospital № 2, the Infection Ward of the Novaya Usman District Hospital and the Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS are able to isolate patients in separate cubicles. RIA Voronezh correspondents visited two of these medical facilities and found out whether isolation cubicles could become an obstacle to infection and in what conditions patients spend their two-week quarantine.

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Anti-plague suit

The Regional Clinical Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS (29B Patriotov Avenue) constantly works with people who may be a source of infection, but at the same time, any infection is life-threatening. This is why compliance with the sanitary-epidemiological routine is at the highest level here, regardless of any epidemics.

“We always have a sufficient supply of disposable protective equipment and tools used by our employees. These are masks, gloves, shoe covers, overalls, medical suits, containers for collecting biological waste. Currently, in terms of different items, this stock is sized for a period of two to six months of our center’s continuous work, after which there will be a new purchase. We also have a sufficient amount of special disinfectants,” said Irina Tulinova, Chief Doctor of the Regional Clinical Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS.

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Disinfectants are used not only on hands, floors, door handles and various surfaces but also ambulances, in which people suspected of having any dangerous infection are brought in.

“We learn from the ambulance doctor that a patient is being taken to us. In this case, we open the entrance to a separate gate leading straight to the cubicles for such a car and let them know which cubicle to drive up to. A patient enters his cubicle directly from the street and is met by medical staff in protective suits. This scheme is designed for patients with any infection, not just coronavirus,” explained Tatyana Mukha, Deputy Chief Doctor of the hospital.

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As soon as the delivered patient leaves the ambulance, it enters the disinfection treatment cubicle.

“The crew gets out of the car, removes its protective clothing - a reusable anti-plague suit and puts it into a tank for further processing in the disinfection chamber. While the crew dresses up in its usual work clothes, the medical disinfector processes the car inside and outside with special means and then draws up a pass without which the car will not be allowed to leave the center,” said Tamara Sitnik, Deputy Chief Doctor for Epidemiology.

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Wash your hands and disinfect your phone

The Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS has five cubicles with seven patients in them at the moment. All of them were brought in on March 18; before that, all of them had been traveling themselves or had contact with arrivals from abroad, and felt unwell. Coronavirus has not been confirmed in any of them, but in two cases, the doctors found a rhinovirus infection they are very familiar with and now treating as well. The tests are done three times – on the day of admission, on the third day and on the tenth day.

A cubicle is a room with an area of at least 18 square meters with a separate bathroom and shower. Living in it is quite comfortable. The main thing is the absence of contact: quarantined patients can even go outside if their infection is not confirmed, but they cannot go through the door leading to the corridor.

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Irina Tulinova reminded that the protective measures against coronavirus are the same as against other acute respiratory viral infections:

“It is very important to wash your hands regularly and also to disinfect the phone, which we constantly bring close to the face. Many people now have become much more attentive to complying with the rules of personal hygiene. Let's hope that this will become a good habit because there will be another epidemic season and there will again be flu and acute respiratory viral infections. Viruses change but hygiene rules remain.”

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“We are ready for such patients”

The Infection Ward of the Regional Children's Clinical Hospital № 2 (64, 45 Strelkovoi Divizii Street) has 22 Meltzer cubicles for receiving patients. Ten of them have been prepared for the reception of patients with coronavirus or suspected of it, while the rest is reserved for children who may also have some kind of infection. Right now, there are already six patients in four cubicles, all of the adults who have arrived from epidemically disadvantaged countries (Italy, Germany, Nepal) and are undergoing a 14-day quarantine. The results of tests for coronavirus all came in negative.

“The citizens behaved responsibly: as soon as their temperature rose, they called an ambulance. When the final tests come, they will be discharged. Now the medical staff communicates with them through the transfer window in the cubicle through which they pass food and medicines,” reported Svetlana Lesnyak, the Chief Nurse of the Children's Hospital № 2.

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If necessary (for example, if samples for tests are needed), paramedics enter the cubicle in disposable protective clothing, and when they leave it, they take it off, send it for disposal and disinfect their hands.

“There is no panic among the medical staff. We are ready for such patients and such situations,” Svetlana Lesnyak noted.

RIA Voronezh note for information

According to the Health Care Department of the Voronezh Region, the region has 971 beds for infectious patients including 49 Meltzer cubicles with 100 beds, 284 half- cubicles for 334 beds, and 109 cubicle wards with 199 beds.

In the case of mass admission of patients with acute respiratory viral infections, flu, and the new coronavirus infection, they will be placed in the infection wards of district hospitals and in inter-district infection wards. Respiratory protective equipment, consumables for sampling, skin antiseptics, and antiviral drugs have been additionally purchased at the expense of the reserve fund of the Voronezh Region Government (2.37 million rubles).

34 million rubles are planned to be allocated to the Voronezh Region at the expense of the Government of the Russian Federation for the purchase of high-frequency artificial lung ventilation devices for respiratory support of patients with respiratory failure.