The Bihar Post

Panic grips Bihar health professionals as 200 test Covid positive

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PATNA—Fresh panic has gripped the health professionals on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 after around 200 of them tested positive for the deadly virus in Bihar. Of the total infected, 96 alone belong to the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) located in Patna, raising fears of crippling the health services.

During the past two COVID-19 waves, the NMCH was declared a dedicated Covid hospital, amply indicating the significance of this premier medical facility located in the state capital. But the way around 200 doctors, MBBS students and other health workers got infected with the deadly coronavirus has alarmed the state government at a time when the COVID-19 cases registered more than 357 per cent rise in the past five days.

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“We are worried over a large number of doctors and health professionals getting infected with COVID-19 but the good thing is that majority of them have mild symptoms and are not required to be admitted to the hospitals for treatment,” state secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Dr Sunil Kumar told the local media. According to him, majority of the infected doctors are in home isolation. The first two waves claimed lives of 159 doctors in Bihar.

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The sudden outbreak of coronavirus among the medical community came to light after they underwent RT-PCR test on Sunday following reports of 17 doctors contracting the virus. According to the health officials, all the doctors and health workers who tested positive during the test had earlier attended the two-day annual conference of the IMA held in Patna last week.

“The health condition of the infected medical professionals is stable. They have been told to stay in home quarantine. Only five junior doctors have been admitted to the Covid wards,” NMCH superintendent Dr Binod Kumar Singh said.

A health official said community spread seems to have started in Bihar given the way the cases were surging fast across the state. “Any cough and cold or fever should not be taken as a simple flu at the moment,” he added.

The authorities were further scared when as many as 14 villagers who had come to attend Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s weekly court at his official residence in Patna tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. On Saturday, the chief minister had sounded an alarm saying the “the third wave of COVID-19 has already started in Bihar” and asked the citizens to stay vigilant.

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