Vijayawada: Four medical staff, including two junior doctors and two nurses, of Government General Hospital in Anantapur, tested positive for Coronavirus on 8 April.

Confirming the news, the district medical and health officer (DMHO), Anil Kumar, said the four had been treating infected patients in the hospital for the past few days. The district reported seven new COVID-19 cases, including the four, bringing the total number of cases in Anantapur to 13.

Sources said that virus was transmitted to the four medical staff from a patient whose family had allegedly hidden his travel history. Notably this comes hours after a doctor was suspended for pointing out the shortage of protective gears meant for doctors.

The Andhra Pradesh Vaidya Vidhan Parishad commissioner, on 8 April, suspended Dr K. Sudhakar, an anaesthesia specialist at Narsipatnam Area Hospital. He  had opened a Pandora’s box by exposing the inadequacies of the state in dealing with the pandemic.

In response to the suspension, The state health minister, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas (Alla Nani), said the doctor had spoken on behalf of the Telugu Desam Party and had already posted his allegations on the party’s website before meeting media personnel at the municipal meeting. He said even though the Narsipatnam hospital was not a designated COVID-19 hospital, 20 sets of PPEs, 32 N95 masks, and 65 HIV kits were sent to the hospital on 3 April.

The suspended doctor has received support from AP Junior Doctors’ Association and AP Indian Medical Association, who in a separate announcement said they will raise funds from NGOs and other donors to purchase safety equipment since the government had failed to provide them.

Meanwhile, with 19 more positive cases reported from 9 a.m to 6 p.m on Wednesday, Andhra Pradesh now has 348 positive cases. Meanwhile, three patients have recovered and were discharged from a hospital in Vizag city on Wednesday. So far, nine patients have recovered in the state and four have died.

Of the 19 new cases, Guntur reported eight, Anantapur seven, Prakasam three, and West Godavari district reported one case. Kurnool has the highest number of COVID-19 cases, 75, followed by Guntur with 49 cases, and Nellore, which has reported 48 cases. Krishna district has 35 COVID-19 cases, Kadapa has 28, Prakasam 27, West Godavari 22, Vizag and Chittoor have reported 20 cases each, while Anantapur has 13 cases and East Godavari 11.

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