Hyderabad: Overburdened with duties and with many of them getting infected with Covid-19, as many as 50 post graduate doctors of the General Medicine wing in the Osmania Medical College launched an indefinite strike on Saturday. They boycotted all elective as well as emergency duties and said they would not return till their demand for deployment of more doctors is fulfilled.

“There are almost 50 patients with Covid-19 symptoms admitted in Osmania’s isolation ward. There are also patients in the acute medical care units but we don’t have enough doctors to take care of these patients in the general medicine department. Many of our junior doctors are still under treatment for Covid-19. Gradually, the number is increasing and more doctors are going into isolation,” said a PG doctor from the General Medicine wing to NewsMeter.

Shortage of doctors and simultaneous rise in the number of suspected Covid patients has made it difficult for the doctors of the other departments to shift duties to the general medicine department, the doctors on strike pointed out.

At present, more than 70 doctors and other medical staff from Osmania are infected with Covid-19.

“The superintendent of OMC had asked to PG doctors from other departments to assist those in the General Medicine wing. However, doctors from other departments have also turned positive and they too are facing problems due to shortage of medicos,” said another junior doctor in the department. He also expressed doubt if the PGs from other departments will be qualified enough to deal with critical patients in the General Medicine wing.

“Doctors of other departments are not qualified to manage critical patients in the General Medicine department. This is because non-General Medicine PGs are not trained to deal with the General Medicine patients. In fact, medico-legal issues can also arise if negligence on the part of a doctor proves harmful for a patient. Due to these problems, the existing doctors in the General Medicine section are overburdened and overstressed,” the doctor added.

The doctors further said the the root cause for the issue is Telangana government's delay in opening Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) which was promised in March.

"In near future Covid-19 cases will flood Hyderabad hopsitals and there may not be sufficient ICUs to manage serious patients," the doctors said.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the state has been increasing ever since the authorities began to implement mass testing. On June 20, Telangana witnessed single-day high of 546 Covid-19 cases.

With this, the total number of Covid-19 cases reported in the state has crossed 7,000. As of June 20, the state has 3, 363 active Covid-19 patients, undergoing treatment for the disease.

Telangana also reported five deaths due to Covid-19 on Saturday, taking the total death toll to 203. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area continues to see the most number of Covid cases in the state, with 458 new cases being reported on Saturday alone.

Rangareddy district reported 50 new cases while Medchal saw 6 new cases on Saturday.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary �Still I Rise�, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad�s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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