Hyderabad: In comparison to others infected with Covid-19, the risk of death due to infection is 17 times higher in doctors and 15 times more in healthcare workers, according to the Indian Medical Association.
It has been noted that in every one lakh people in India there are 4,969 cases of infected healthcare workers, 1,428 cases of infected doctors and 285 of others.
In every one lakh Covid-19 patients, doctor deaths are 87, healthcare personnel 16 and common people five.
The positivity rate in healthcare workers from January to May as analysed by the IMA is 4.6 per cent. It was also noted that healthcare workers in contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19 without adequate protection was 2.8 per cent.
These initial numbers are now giving an insight into why it has spread so rapidly among healthcare workers. Not taking the infection seriously and still continuing with their work in the health sector has cost them.
A senior doctor of IMA on condition of anonymity explained, “Many doctors are above 50 years of age and they have been seeing patients without realising that their age, co-morbid conditions and immune state are compromised. The fact that every patient whether Covid or non-Covid-19 must be seen only with proper protection has not been followed. Due to lack of following these protocols the numbers are very high.“
Doctors are bound to have high viral loads as they see patients every day and the time gap between two patients is not very long. Given infrastructure problems in small and medium hospitals, many of the doctors have been exposed.
When the healthcare workers fall sick due to high viral load, their condition deteriorates quickly. Many of them who have come in late have required high-end medicines.
With the infection risk high, there is a need to test doctors in the hospitals so that they are protected. Increasing testing has helped to detect cases faster and also helped to control spread.
What is the way out? Dr Kiran M., a senior government anesthesiologist, explained, “It is important to recruit more doctors in the government sector and get all the young ones to work in the wards. This will allow the middle-aged personnel to monitor and in this manner, we can handle the situation better.”