January 4, 2022 2:50:59 am
As Covid-19 caseload of West Bengal added another 6,000 new cases on Monday, doctors and health workers seem to be most affected in this fresh surge in infections. Over 100 doctors have been infected with the virus in Kolkata alone, according to sources.
At least 60 doctors of Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in the state Capital have been infected, in addition to 30 dentists from R Ahmed Dental College, sources said.
At least 36 doctors, including the principal of National Medical College, two doctors from Beleghata ID and at least 10 doctors from the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology have also been infected.
Besides, many nurses, health workers and doctors of Beleghata ID, MR Bangur have also tested positive for Covid-19.
Expressing concern on the rising infection among the health workers, the Association of Health Service Doctors (AHSD) have written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanding earmarked Covid ward with all essential equipment at hospitals across the state.
“We, the doctors’ community of West Bengal, had predicted the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 since the festivities. But a large section of people didn’t act and the commitment from the administration was too far beyond the desired level. As a result, the victims of this frightening calamity are now thrown into an abyss of insecurity and unfortunate incidents, especially among the doctors and healthcare workers,” said Professor Manas Gumta, general secretary of ASHD.
Cautioning against the collapse of the health services if the rate of infection among doctors and healthcare workers remain high, Gumta said, “The alarming rate of transmission, just at the very outset of this current wave, within the medical caregivers could lead to the system collapsing in a short period.”
The association has urged the administration to earmark Covid block in all public sector hospitals (second tier and above) and ensure their operation as soon as possible with uninterrupted logistics supply.
“Resume 24×7 Covid control room for requisite assistance and ensure urgent admission for eligible ones, both at Swasthya Bhawan and district levels. Ensure wide advocacy before general masses and circulate essential phone numbers of control cells. Start daily tele-counselling from the control room and contact tracing with due sensitivity,”the letter sent by the Association to the CM read.
“…Dedicated ambulance services with strict supervision of fare chart is to be given due priority. Strictest administrative imposition of Covid appropriate safety rules for all the citizens like mandatory use of masks and physical distancing. Penal actions may be called for the people violating the norms to convey a distinct message to all concerned, especially in the midst of election campaigns by the political parties. The administration in concurrence with the Election Commission should come forward to implement pandemic regulations in letter and spirit,” the letter added.
Meanwhile, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) declared 27 areas as “micro/containment zones” in the city. After a review meeting, Mayor Firhad Hakim said, “If a housing complex reports five to six Covid cases, it would come under a containment zone. Without a face mask, sales and purchases in the markets would not be allowed.”
Among the areas declared micro/containment zone are IIM-Calcutta campus, Manicktala, Phoolbagan, Shakespeare Sarani, Karaya, Topsia, Ballygunge, Ekbalpore, Narkelbagan, Urbana. These areas fall under seven boroughs of the KMC, including some posh housing complexes.
Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh said that from Tuesday, 50 schools, including 17 private schools, will be converted into vaccination centres. The KMC has set up three safe homes — Gitanjali House with 100 beds, Pratidin House with 200 beds and Harikrishna Centre with 50 beds.
In the last 24 hours, the state reported 6,078 new Covid-19 cases with 2,801 from Kolkata, as per the state Health Department’s bulletin. Though there was a slight dip from Sunday’s 6,153 cases, the state’s overall test-positivity rate increased to 19.59 per cent. In the past 24 hours, 31,030 samples were tested in the state.
The state reported 13 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 19,794.
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