Coronavirus fear has gripped physicians, nurses and other health workers as the number of the virus infected physicians, nurses and other health workers is increasing day by day in the country.
“We are providing enough protective gear to the physicians and other medical staffs. Despite using protective gears, they are being infected with the coronavirus. Even around 60 percent officials and employees of my office have been infected with the virus,” Md Muhibur Rahman, additional secretary (hospital) of the health and family welfare ministry, told the daily sun.According to Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), fifty-seven physicians have so far died of Covid-19 disease while a total of 4,582 medical staffs -- 1,491 doctors, 1,284 nurses and 1,807 other health workers -- have been infected with the coronavirus in Bangladesh till June 28.
However, sources from medical staffs said around sixty-five physicians have so far died with coronavirus infection and with the virus symptoms till the time while around 5,000 health staffs are infected with the virus in Bangladesh. Around 2,000 physicians are infected with the virus.
Talking to the daily sun, some physicians said physicians, nurses and other health workers are not getting genuine N95 mask while the health workers of non-covid hospitals are being infected with the virus as they are getting poor number of protective gears to protect them from the coronavirus.
They also said the medical staffs need separate isolation centre and coronavirus test centre for better treatment. Healthcare services for all kinds of patients would face irreparable loss and the ongoing health service system would be hampered for this reason, they fear.
Talking to the daily sun, Dr Md Jabed, member of executive committee of the BMA, said, “The highest number of physicians is infected with the coronavirus in Bangladesh compared to other countries of the world. Most of the virus infected physicians and other health workers are of non-covid hospitals.”
He said physicians, nurses and other health workers of non-covid hospitals are not getting necessary training and enough protective gears while they are facing many covid-19 patients.He lamented that the government is providing an alternative to N95 mask to the health workers but the mask is of poor quality. “The alternative to the N95 mask is not enough to protect the health staffs from the coronavirus. The government should form a committee to ensure quality of the mask,” Dr Jabed said.
Dr Asraful Hoque Sium, associate professor at the NICVD, told the daily sun that the government should start routine Covid-19 test for health workers of the non-covid hospitals.
Prof Dr Saif Ullah Munshi, chairman of Virology Department at BSMMU, said that apart from the excellent quality of PPE, doctors are also needed to train properly on donning and doffing of PPE.”
He further said it will be better to campaign among the doctors who are on the front dealing with Covid-19 patients or dealing with (so called) non-covid patients should regard every patient as Covid-19 patients. “Casual and reluctant behaviour with patients may unknowingly transmit the disease.”
Addressing the regular health bulletin of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), its additional director general (admin) Prof Dr Nasima Sultana said 1,500 protective gears were provided in the last 24 hours till 8:00am on Sunday. A total of 23,76,564 protective gears were provided for the health staffs, including physicians, while 25,28,245 were collected till the time.
“The vice-chancellor of the BSMMU has agreed to our proposal and some beds of the hospital will be designated for the physicians and others. The process already has been started in this regard,” Dr Ehteshamul Haque Chowdhury, secretary general of the BMA, told the daily sun.
The DGHS recently designated Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital for priority treatment of coronavirus-positive health workers. The order came just hours after BMA wrote to the health minister urging him to dedicate the BSMMU or any other hospital for treating doctors infected with the virus.