Hyderabad: More than 70 days after the first case of Covid -19 surfaced in Hyderabad, health workers are in the grip of the pandemic in the state. As many as 50 medicos from Osmania, 35 from NIMS and 4 from Gandhi Hospital, the nodal centre for Covid-19 in the state, tested positive for the infection.

While a majority of the medicos who got tested for Covid-19 are postgraduate students from Osmania, the remaining include professors, paramedical staff and other hospital employees.

“As many as 50 doctors from affiliated hospitals of Osmania Medical College, 29 at NIMS, and 4 at Gandhi Medical College tested positive for Covid-19 so far. Several lab staffers, nurses and paramedics also tested positive. We are asking for more protective gear for all the government medicos. We are also hearing that a number of doctors of private hospitals are also testing positive and that they are being treated at the hospitals where they are working,’’ said Dr. G Srinivas, the president of NIMS Resident Doctors Association.

The decision of the Telangana government not to test widely even in the face of the spread of the coronavirus in medical college campuses is being criticised.

“Many of the medicos tested positive are highly experienced senior doctors, including cardiology specialists, pulmonologists, diabetologists and general physicians. There are also final year PG students who will be passing out soon. They were all exposed to thousands of patients in OPs every day without enough protection gear. Covid patients are not just in Gandhi. Asymptomatic patients are all around. Mass screening and regular testing is necessary to identify Covid-19 cases among medical staff,” a senior government doctor said.

With covid cases amongst medicos on the rise, all government hospitals have been directed to follow a 50 per cent duty schedule where one batch will work for one week and take off for another week.

PPEs and N95 masks are of poor quality: Telangana Jr Docs

The state government’s tall claims of providing best quality protective equipment to doctors in the state falls short as the Telangana Junior Doctors Association (T-JUDA) writes a letter to the authorities demanding quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for interns working in Covid-19 wards across the state.

The T-JUDA has complained that PPE kits and N-95 masks provided by the government are of poor quality and not sufficient in number.

Speaking to NewsMeter, Dr. Vishnu, president of T-JUDA, said, “ The PPEs and N-95 masks provided by the government are not of standard quality. There is no ISO mark on the equipment. Also, the PPEs provided are made of plastic. The interns are drenched in sweat after 10 minutes into the PPEs. Besides, hospitals do not have basic facilities for interns and many are dehydrated. There are roughly around 1,300-1,400 interns working across Telangana government hospitals.”

The doctors further said that the government of Telangana had issued a circular on providing accommodation to healthcare workers since many are worried about infecting their family members. However, not much has been done of the promise.

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