With 750 doctors infected, Delhi on tenterhooks amid rising Covid-19 cases

Six major hospitals, from where the cases were reported, shut or are planning to shut out-patient departments and hold off on non-urgent surgeries
Last Updated : 09 January 2022, 09:43 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2022, 09:43 IST

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Over 750 doctors and hundreds of nurses, besides paramedical staff, in six major hospitals in Delhi are currently suffering from Covid-19, according to the hospital staff. Even as most of them have mild symptoms, the need to isolate themselves has left the hospitals short-staffed.

Resident doctors said that as a result, regular surgeries and non-priority work have been put on hold.

Doctors said that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) accounts for 350 of the total infections among doctors, and is possibly the worst hit. “And, these are just resident doctors. Some faculty members and many nurses and paramedics have also tested positive,” a resident doctor from AIIMS was quoted in a report by The Indian Express.

The number pertaining to AIIMS was also confirmed by another senior faculty member. “There are many people who are testing positive. There are many from the director’s office who have the infection. However, people must not panic, the disease is not as severe as last time,” the faculty member was quoted as saying.

A third official at the hospital said that available staff — medical, nursing, technical and support — have been redeployed to minimise the effect of the staff crunch.

Officials also said that over 100 healthcare workers tested positive over the past two days, taking the total number of staff in quarantine to 400.

The situation at Lok Nayak Hospital — the only hospital to treat Omicron patients — fared somewhat better, even as 29 persons were confirmed as having tested positive, with several more in isolation.

“In the anaesthesia department, all but two or three residents have tested positive. They are the most involved in the care of Covid-19 patients. One-third of all doctors and nurses have tested positive. Of course, this affects services,” a resident doctor of the hospital was quoted as saying.

The outpatient clinics at the hospital were also shut, officials confirmed, adding that only emergency surgeries are being scheduled.

The situation at Safdarjung Hospital was almost as bad as AIIMS, with nearly 200 resident doctors testing positive. “The hospital has decided to hire 302 non-academic junior residents to fill the vacancies due to the delay in NEET-PG counselling. Some senior residents will also be hired on contractual basis,” a resident doctor from the hospital was quoted as saying.

The hospital has curtailed the timings for OPD registrations to ensure fewer people visit for consultations.

Officials said that meanwhile, at least 90 doctors at the central government-run RML Hospital are in isolation. “Those who are not positive are taking up more shifts and working longer hours to ensure that the services do not get disrupted,” a resident doctor from the hospital was quoted as saying.

Lady Hardinge Medical College and its two associated hospitals reported that nearly 100 resident doctors are currently positive, with discussions under way to stop routing surgeries.

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Published 09 January 2022, 09:15 IST

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