On 6 January, when Dr Sanjay Baranwal interrupted a surgery to take a photo of a cockroach in the operating theatre at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Thane, questions were raised about the hospital's hygiene levels. The Additional Municipal Commissioner for Thane, Sunil Chavan, ordered an inquiry into the incident.
But according to a new report in the Mumbai Mirror, C. Maitra, the dean of the hospital, has accused Dr Baranwal of deliberately "planting" a live cockroach in the hospital to defame it. She called it a "media stunt".
Additional municipal commissioner Chavan told Mirror:
"I have a report from the dean. She says a cockroach ended up in the OT because of a mischief. She believes the surgeon carried the insect in his pocket and left it inside the room before contacting the media."
Reacting to the charge of having staged the incident, Dr Baranwal explained that there are three levels of safety checks every doctor has to go through before entering any operating theatre. He said:
"...The safety steps include putting away personal effects and wearing sterilised gowns. Does the dean really believe I completed the mandatory routine with a cockroach in my pocket?"
In addition to these safety measures, the World Health Organisation has mandated that the operating theatres must be disinfected and fumigated at least once a week.
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