PATNA: The doctors and other subsidiary health professionals working as frontline warriors at different Covid-19 treatment centres are proving highly vulnerable to the infection in Bihar.
So far, according to a release of Bihar chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA), more than 200 medical professionals besides other paramedic staffs have tested positive for COVID-19 so far in the state.
Unfortunately, two of them namely Dr. NK Singh, posted as associate professor at ENT department in Patna Medical College and hospital and Dr. Ashwani Kumar, a private physician of Gaya, have died in the last few days.
Concerned over this alarming situation with the people in the medical fraternity, the Bihar chapter of IMA has demanded fortnightly COVID-19 tests for all doctors and the paramedics staff working as frontline warriors mandatory along with a 15-day break for relaxation for the state's health professionals, working in the frontline against the COVID-19.
One can well gauge the severity of infection in Bihar from the fact that even the director of IGIMS, Dr NR Biswas, has tested positive.
Recently, more than 50 doctors, technicians, ANMs, laboratory incharges and other staffs of PMCH were also tested positive. According to sources of health department, a dozen of technicians of RMRIMS have also tested positive besides half a dozen staffs of NMCH's microbiology department.
At AIIMS also, as many as 15 medical staff have tested positive and have been admitted in addition to staffs and doctors of other medical institutions testing positive so far.
"In such a situation, a delegation of IMA representatives has met health minister Mangal Pandey on Thursday with a demand to reserve 50% of total beds for doctors and other health workers in AIIMS besides other important demands including mandatory COVID-19 tests for all doctors, health workers and a 15-day long relaxation break", Dr Sunil Kumar, IMA secretary, said.
He said that demand by IMA has been made for Rs 10 lakh compensation from the state government and Rs 50 lakh insurance cover announced by the central government to be given to the family members of two doctors died recently due to coronavirus.
"The IMA has also strongly put a demand for filling the existing vacancies of assistant professors and revocation of suspension of doctors immediately to meet the challenges emerging during the pandemic times here", he said.
The IMA has also expressed serious concerns about poor condition of infrastructure and human resources in government-run hospitals in the state in a letter sent to Ashwani Kumar Choubey on July 7.
The letter stated that AIIMS in Patna has about 800 beds and 90 ICU beds but only 200 beds and 40 ICU-beds for the COVID-19 patients are not sufficient to cater to the needs.
Apart from them, junior doctors at PMCH and NMCH have also demanded safety kits and arrangments for doctors fighting against the COVID-19 on a war footing.
Meanwhile, Bihar Chemist & Druggists Association has also demanded COVID-19 tests of CNF, distributors, stockists, wholesalers, and retailers of medicines on the part of the government.