Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 | Last Update : 02:41 AM IST

133rd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra45019628703015842 Tamil Nadu2632222022834241 Andhra Pradesh166586886781537 Karnataka139571625002594 Delhi1384821242544021 Uttar Pradesh97362553931778 West Bengal78232548181731 Telangana6766048609551 Gujarat64684476632504 Bihar5956738508336 Rajasthan4555532051719 Assam4527633429109 Haryana3717330470440 Odisha3629723074248 Madhya Pradesh3428524099900 Kerala268731527885 Jammu and Kashmir2200614032407 Punjab1852711882442 Jharkhand135004794125 Chhatisgarh9820725661 Uttarakhand7800453890 Goa6816487656 Tripura5389360527 Puducherry3982241156 Manipur292017667 Himachal Pradesh2818165813 Nagaland21296574 Arunachal Pradesh175810633 Chandigarh116070619 Meghalaya9022645 Sikkim6882971 Mizoram4962660
  India   All India  05 Jun 2020  Telangana: In state that tests the least, doctors most at risk

Telangana: In state that tests the least, doctors most at risk

THE ASIAN AGE. | KANIZA GARARI
Published : Jun 5, 2020, 9:06 am IST
Updated : Jun 5, 2020, 9:43 am IST

48 doctors have tested positive for the virus in the capital of Telangana so far

Staff sanitise a bus belonging to the Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad as it became known that several post-grad medical students of the college have become coroonavirus positive due to poor adherence of treatment protocols in the state-run hospitals in Telangana. (AA Photo: PS)
 Staff sanitise a bus belonging to the Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad as it became known that several post-grad medical students of the college have become coroonavirus positive due to poor adherence of treatment protocols in the state-run hospitals in Telangana. (AA Photo: PS)

Hyderabad: Doctors in Hyderabad are up in arms as coronavirus infections among medical professionals treating COVID-19 cases have exploded this week. A total of 48 post-graduate (PG) medical students at various hospitals and medical colleges have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Of these, 17 tested positive at the Osmania Medical College (OMC) on Thursday, taking the total number of infections there to 32.

Two doctors from Gandhi Medical College (GMC) also tested positive on Thursday, and the hospital now has four physicians stricken with COVID-19. Five others from Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) have tested positive, and the number there has gone up to 12.

 

One senior doctor from the cardiology department of NIMS is among the positive cases. Two professors, an ex-professor and three associate professors have tested positive at the Petlaburj Government Maternity Hospital.

Post-graduate students of medicine, who are the most exposed to COVID-19 patients in the wards, have criticised the government's handling of the WHO-mandated COVID-19 protocol. Writing in the Deccan Chronicle, a doctor who tested positive after performing a C-section said, "There is reluctance in the government to quarantine the (exposed) students. The hospitals need attention from government in terms of sanitisation, screening of patients and proper management in isolation. The isolation ward of 20 beds has people walking in and out."

 

Post-graduate medical students are demanding mass screening of frontline medical staff as they are being exposed to risk but the capacity for testing at some of the premier hospitals in the capital city of Telangana is as little as 120 per day.

Telangana is unique among the southern states for limiting coronavirus testing. It has the lowest testing rates in the south.   

After the spread of the coronavirus in the medical community became public this week, the state government of Telangana finally issued orders for quarantine of the affected PG doctors. This has come as a relief to medical students.

Senior doctors said, however, that this was not enough. Testing or screening of patients coming for elective surgeries have to be carried out rigorously so that the risk to doctors treating is minimised.

 

In government maternity hospitals in Hyderabad, however, pregnant women are not being screened as they come in for delivery, and the result is now being seen in the explosion of infection among the medical community.

The problem of coronavirus infection is highest at the Petlaburj Maternity Hospital in the old city of Hyderabad, as it is a major referral centre. A senior gynaecologist, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, “We are carrying out normal deliveries and C-sections even for suspected COVID-19 cases as we cannot let young pregnant women suffer. They are coming from areas where the infection has spread but there has not been any screening despite our demand for it. A chest X-ray is done and even if the film shows the telltale effects of coronavirus infection, we have to go through with the case. Pregnant women must be protected and so must the doctors.”

 

There is a vicious cycle at play at the government hospitals treating coronavirus cases. They are in serious risk of becoming hotspots and sources of further spread of the infection. The protocols demand sanitising and cleaning of operation theatres, X–ray labs, in fact the complete hospital. But due to budget constraints, this is not being done to optimum level. 

Another senior gynaecologist explained, “The exposure level of immune-compromised pregnant women is high. We are asking to screen every patient and if positive, the isolation and treatment becomes easy. The fear of cross infection and spread can be curtailed.”

Tags: petla burj coronavirus, post-graduate doctors, first person account, telangana doctors covid
Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad