A senior state health department official became the first doctor in West Bengal to have died of Covid-19, prompting the medical professionals to demand more tests and protection for them.
The 60-year-old assistant director, health services (equipment and stores), posted at the Central Medical Stores, was among the two latest victims in the state, putting the death toll to 20. He died at a private hospital in Salt Lake at 1.30 am on Sunday, a week after testing positive.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, also the health minister, tweeted, “We are deeply pained with his untimely demise. His sacrifice for the cause of ailing humanity will ever be in our hearts and will make our Covid warriors fight the deadly virurs with even greater determination. My heartfelt condolence to his bereaved family members and colleagues.”
The West Bengal Doctors Forum stated, “This is the first reported death of a member of our medical fraternity in the state, who was tested positive for Covid-19. Unfortunately, his spouse is also tested positive for corona. It is pertinent to note here that over the past few weeks, more and more healthcare workers are diagnosed with Covid-19, some of them even asymptomatic, while several others are in quarantine. We urge the health and administrative authorities to proactively look into the matter. With limited resources at disposal, we cannot afford to have a situation where the shortage of healthcare providers poses a threat to delivery of care.”
It added, “We reiterate that we need more intensive testing, speciality of each and every healthcare providers, even asymptomatic ones, adequate and appropriate PPE strict adherence to ICMR guidelines, including death certification as per ICD 10 principles as laid down by the advisory bodies. We request the state administration to apprise us about the condition of the healthcare workers under treatment and quarantine.”