Kolkata: The West Bengal Doctors’ Forum (WBDF) has rung alarm bells over the increasing number of COVID-19 infections among health workers in the state and said if the situation worsens then an acute shortage of doctors and other frontline workers would be inevitable.
“The ground situation seems to be a matter of concern because as per the latest report, more than 140 health care workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus. Two doctors have succumbed to COVID-19 while several others have been forced to go in quarantine. If the situation continues to be like this, then I am afraid there will be a severe shortage of healthcare workers to treat the patients,” WBDF’s Secretary, Dr Koushik Chaki, said.
The Forum has written a letter to Chief Secretary Rajiv Sinha, who assured that the government will do whatever is needed for the safety and security of the doctors and health care workers in Bengal, Chaki added.
While highlighting that tending to non-COVID-19 patients has also significantly been compromised due to such constraints, Dr Chaki said, “Few of the institutes have been forced to limit their operational services partly or fully for extensive decontamination of the health facilities in the state. This is causing problems for those who are non-COVID patients and need medical assistance on a regular basis. Therefore, we have requested the government to clearly demarcate and publicise COVID treatment facilities and those for non-COVID ones.”
The Forum also requested that all the registered medical professionals should be entitled to avail the RT-PCR tests at approved test centers, including the private sectors in a hassle-free manner and free of cost by the state government as they have been dedicated to medical care in the most sensitive times.
Further, the WBDF alerted the government on reports that claim that the staff in Kolkata Municipal Corporation are distributing Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to people in various areas.
“We have requested the Chief Secretary to look into the matter at the earliest because of serious side effects of the Hydroxychloroquine.
As per ICMR advisory, the prophylactic use of HCQ for SARS-Cov-2 is clearly indicated for two specific selected groups of people, which includes asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID- 19 and asymptomatic household contact of laboratory confirmed cases.