Occupational COVID-19 exposure among health care workers in obstetric unit in a Central Government Hospital in India: initial experience


  • Neha Pruthi Tondon Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ABVIMS and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India
  • Renuka Malik Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ABVIMS and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India
  • Kanika Kumari Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ABVIMS and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India
  • Anjali Singh Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ABVIMS and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India




Health care workers in obstetric ward, COVID-19 exposure, Positivity rate


Background: Health care workers (HCW) are the frontline warriors who are at a high risk of acquiring the COVID-19. HCW in obstetrical department are at high-risk due to their close proximity with the patient for examination, giving treatment and in delivery. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the positivity rate of COVID-19 in the initial 3 months of pandemic in health care personnel working in obstetric unit in a tertiary care hospital.

Methods: Prospective cohort study was conducted in department of obstetrics and gynecology at tertiary care hospital in Delhi from 10 April to 10 June 2020. Predesigned questionnaire was used to record data of HCWs exposed to COVID-19 patients.

Results: In a period of 3 months (April-June 2020), 152 health care workers were exposed to 30 COVID-19 patients.  Out of this, 10 HCW were found to be positive on testing, showing a positivity rate of 6.58%. Positivity ratio was 6:3:1 among nurses, auxiliary workers and doctors respectively. Labor room was area of high infection as 80% of HCW were infected in the labor room .80% HCW acquired infection during patient care in hospital and 20% were infected in contact with asymptomatic COVID-19 positive HCW.

Conclusions: Positivity rate in obstetric department is comparable to that of general population. Appropriate infection prevention measures like use of PPE, handwashing and maintain safe distance from the patient is the key to prevention of infection. Gloves and N95 masks have been shown to provide superior protection as compared to triple layer masks. Nursing staff and auxiliary workers should be reinforced the importance of use of PPE, hand hygiene and physical distancing.


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Original Research Articles