Govt. health staff bearing the brunt of the Covid attack in Telangana


Hyderabad: State government healthcare workers are facing an onslaught of Covid with infections rising rapidly in many hospitals.

On Saturday, around 360 doctors, professors, PG doctors and other staff at Osmania General Hospital (OGH) were infected with Covid. A total of 134 healthcare workers at Gandhi Hospital and around 33 at Chest Hospital have also tested positive. However, none of the infected workers required hospitalization.

Director of Medical Education (DME), Telangana, Dr K Ramesh Reddy, said the department had not counted the total number of infected healthcare workers in the state. He said many of them in Covid hospitals were expected to be vulnerable.

“The situation is not alarming, the infected workers will return after a week after infection, in accordance with the Center’s protocol,” he said.

The DME said that in order to protect workers, an adequate number of N-95 masks and more than 10 lakh PPE kits have been made available to workers and medics. During recent vaccination campaigns for booster doses, additional centers were set up just for healthcare workers and the majority of them were inoculated with the booster, he said.

A member of a state doctors’ association said nearly 80% of all state government doctors had contracted Covid during the current wave. The numbers don’t reflect that because many doctors who have symptoms don’t get tested to avoid Covid anxiety, he said. Some of those who are overworked are getting tested so they can get a week off, the member said.

OGH Superintendent Dr B Nagendra said around 200 healthcare workers at the hospital had been infected but none required hospitalization. However, sources among doctors at the hospital said up to 360 people had contracted the virus.

The medical superintendent of Gandhi Hospital, Dr M Raja Rao, said the situation was not as bad as in previous waves, when the hospital was operating with only 50% of its staff. The number of cases was actually lower than he had expected. Currently, less than 20% of staff are infected, he said.

“Most of the workers got infected outside the hospital, because here they take the utmost care,” he said.

Dr N Kartik, secretary general of the Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA), said that due to the high number of infections, the remaining doctors were enduring an overload of work.

“As we work in a Covid hospital, all the doctors are certain to be infected. We are prepared for it,” Dr Kartik said.


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