Amid the rise in the number of healthcare workers testing positive for COVID-19 infection, West Bengal Doctors' Forum on Monday wrote to Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha emphasizing the need to test all patients of Inpatient Departments (IPD) at hospitals, especially those at risk, as per the advice of the treating physician without any administrative intervention.
In the letter, the forum said that the Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR) must collaborate with the West Bengal Government and accelerate the testing process, as, without a robust testing facility, the situation may not be normalised across the state.
"All IPD patients need to be tested especially those at risk, as per the requisition of the treating physician without any administrative intervention. This is in view of the significant number of asymptomatic cases admitted for non-COVID illnesses testing positive," it read.
The letter also mentioned an ‘unconfirmed data’, which states that more than 150 healthcare workers in West Bengal have tested positive for the fatal disease, while several others have been put under quarantine. The forum also claimed that the daily COVID-19 tally of the state does not represent the number of infected healthcare workers or even those in quarantine.
The doctor’s forum also drew the state government’s attention towards the shortage of personal protective gear to frontline workers handling COVID-19 cases. It said that availability of PPEs, N95, three-ply surgical masks, face shields, goggles, gloves, sanitizers from government stores, fair price shops for healthcare workers, and doctors in private or single doctor establishments across the state need immediate notice.
West Bengal recorded five more COVID-19 fatalities, raising the death toll in the state to 118, according to a health department bulletin on Monday. The state has attributed 72 other deaths to comorbidities — cases where COVID-19 was incidental.
In the last 24 hours, 124 fresh cases of the respiratory infection were reported from the state, which took the total number of active cases to 1,374, it said. Till Monday, there were at least 1,939 confirmed COVID-19 cases in West Bengal, the bulletin stated.
(With inputs from agencies)
(Image credits: PTI file photo)