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Healthcare services likely to be hit as more medical staff fall to virus

Swasthya Bhavan has directed that students’ hostels be vacated and they be asked to return home. Around 70 doctors and nurses of N R S Hospital and their 80 colleagues at Calcutta National Medical College are in home isolations after contracting the infection. At Chittaranjan Seva Sadan in south Kolkata, 36 doctors have tested Covid positive; the figure at the dental college is more than 30.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

As more doctors, nurses and other medical staff associated with various government and private hospitals contract Covid, normal healthcare services are likely to collapse in a couple of weeks, health experts fear.

With soaring Covid cases along with rising Omicron variant among the patients, since last week, the state health department top brass held a meeting at Swasthya Bhavan to review the situation and keep healthcare services in hospitals unimpeded since medical staff in clusters are contracting the virus.

Swasthya Bhavan has directed that students’ hostels be vacated and they be asked to return home. Around 70 doctors and nurses of N R S Hospital and their 80 colleagues at Calcutta National Medical College are in home isolations after contracting the infection. At Chittaranjan Seva Sadan in south Kolkata, 36 doctors have tested Covid positive; the figure at the dental college is more than 30.

At the Regional Institute of Opthalmology, more than 12 doctors and health workers have tested Covid positive. Apart from the state government hospitals, doctors associated with railway and private healthcare units in the city have also been infected with Covid-19. As many as 500 doctors, nurses and other medical staff in different hospitals like state-run NRS Medical College, CNMC, R Ahamed Dental College, Chittaranjan Seva Sadan, RIO and several in private hospitals and nursing homes have contracted the virus in the last few days, claimed Dr Manas Gumta, secretary, Association of Health Service Doctors (AHSD).

“Normal healthcare services in government hospitals would be badly affected if the situation worsens further with more and more medical staff contracting the coronavirus. It will take minimum 15 days for home quarantine if a doctor contracts the viral infections showing even mild symptoms. Just imagine such a huge pool of doctors and other medical staff will be absent for so many days,” Dr Gumta added.

A senior public health expert associated with the state government said that there has been an alarming surge in positivity rate since last week. Around 20 persons out of every 100 are testing positive and it would be difficult to provide treatment if the medical professionals are contracting the infection.