New Delhi : As Omicron fuels rapid spread of new infections in the frontline healthcare professionals in government and private  hospitals of the nation, worry reigns as this might lead to collapse of already understaffed healthcare system in the country said Executive Member of the Federation of Hospital Administrator- Dr Naresh Purohit.

Voicing  his concern here on this issue Noted Pandemic Control Expert Dr Purohit told vibrant news on Saturday that besides shortage of staff, this is also likely to cause anxiety among the medical professionals and healthcare workers deployed at the frontline.

Advisor for National Communicable Disease Control Programme Dr Purohit recalled saying that one should not forget the second wave of Covid-19 when the delta virus had taken lives of at least 798 medical professionals in the country of which maximum 128 doctors were of Delhi, followed by Bihar at 115.

He informed that India is already in the grip of a third wave of the virus and the number of new cases is shooting with each passing day.

This time symptoms are mostly mild and no hospitalization is required for any case. Most of the medics who have reported positive for Covid, are all isolating themselves.He added that most of them have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines. 

Renowned Epidemiologist Dr Purohit averred that in Bihar, ten medical staff of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) Patna and four medical staff of Jayprabha Medanta Hospital have been found to be corona positive. So are the 96 junior doctors of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) in the northern State.

He added similarly in West Bengal, around 35 doctors at Dr R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital have been infected, while 36 doctors of the Chittaranjan Seva Sadan Hospital have tested positive for Covid. Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO), the only state-run eye hospital, has 15 doctors down with Covid, as per reports.
Principal Investigator for National Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme Dr Purohit stated that  Delhi which is witnessing a sharp surge in infection for the past few days, at least 180 doctors from six big hospitals have tested positive. To begin with, in the country’s premier health institution All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, at least 50 doctors have gone into isolation after some tested positive while others showed symptoms of Covid-19. The hospital has already cancelled the doctors winter vacation amid rising Covid cases. In a notice issued on Monday, the AIIMS Delhi directed all faculty members to join their duty with immediate effect.

He added that  apart from AIIMS, more than 23 doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital, also in the national capital, have also tested positive for the coronavirus over the past one week.
Dr Purohit further said similar pattern has also emerged from Medanta Hospital at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh where as many as 25 medical staff, including doctors and paramedics, have tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

He pointed that situation is no different in Covid-hit Mumbai in Maharashtra. At St George’s Hospital - one of the largest facilities in Mumbai , 25 per cent of 650 resident doctors have contracted the virus; where healthcare is impacted by shortage of medical staff. 

He added that in Pune too, at least 49 female MBBS students and two staff members from the Government Medical College at Miraj in Sangli district have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Dr Purohit further pointed  that in Punjab’s Patiala, a total of 80 medical personnel, including doctors, students and support staff of the Government Rajindra Hospital and Medical College have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as the district is  turning out to be the worst-hit region in terms of rising number of Covid-19 cases.

He said 22 resident doctors, 34 medical students, nine faculty members and 15 support and paramedical staff at the Government Rajindra Hospital and Medical College have tested positive for Covid-19.

Acclaimed physician averred , “There has been a tremendous rise in patients in the last couple of days and soon a good number of staff will be diverted for Covid duty. Hence, there is a need to establish mechanisms to reduce the risks of stress and anxiety among physicians besides ensuring their health, safety and wellbeing..”