Hyderabad: The state government’s healthcare workers are facing a Covid onslaught with infections rising rapidly in many hospitals.
As of Saturday, about 360 doctors, faculty, PG doctors and other staff of Osmania general hospital (OGH) were infected with Covid. A total of 134 healthcare workers in Gandhi hospital and about 33 in Chest hospital have also tested positive. However, none of the infected workers have needed hospitalization.
Director of medical education (DME), Telangana, Dr K Ramesh Reddy said the department did not have a count of the overall number of healthcare workers infected in the state. He said it was expected that a lot of them in Covid hospitals are vulnerable.
“The situation is not alarming, the infected workers will come back after a week post-infection, as per Centre’s protocol,” he said.
The DME said that in order to protect workers, an adequate number of N-95 masks and over 10 lakh PPE kits were made available to workers and doctors. During recent vaccination drives for booster doses, extra centres were set up just for healthcare workers and a majority of them had been inoculated with the booster shot, he said.
A member of a state doctors’ association said that almost 80 per cent of all government doctors in the state had contracted Covid during the current wave. The numbers don’t reflect this because many doctors who have symptoms are not getting tested to avoid Covid anxiety, he said. Some of those overburdened with work are getting tested so that they could avail a week’s leave, the member said.
Superintendent of OGH Dr B Nagendra said that approximately 200 healthcare workers at the hospital had been infected but none required hospitalisation. However, sources among the hospital’s doctors said that up to 360 people had contracted the virus.
Gandhi hospital’s medical superintendent Dr M Raja Rao said the situation was not as bad as it was during the earlier waves, when the hospital was functioning with only 50 per cent of its staff. The number of cases was actually lower than what he had expected. Currently, less than 20 per cent of staff is infected, he said.
“Most workers were infected outside the hospital, as here they take utmost care,” he said.
Dr N Kartik, general secretary, Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA), said due to the high number of infections, the remaining doctors were bearing work overload.
“As we work in a Covid hospital, all doctors are certain to get infected. We are prepared for that,” Dr Kartik said....