Medical Students All Set To Join The Frontline Covid Service in J&K

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800 Doctors, Paramedics Infected Since Jan 1

Srinagar- The health department is mulling to engage final year medical students to meet the third wave of Coronavirus as over 800 health workers, including doctors and paramedics in the Valley have contracted the infection since the first week of January.

An official told Kashmir Observer on Wednesday that over 500 doctors of Government Medical College (GMC) and its associated hospitals in Srinagar have tested Covid-19 positive, since January 1, this year.

“Over 292 Doctors and 277 paramedics from GMC associates hospitals have been tested positive since Jan 1 till date,” Professor and HoD Community Medicine, SPM, GMC Srinagar, Dr S. Muhammad Salim Khan told Kashmir Observer.

He further informed a number of Doctors and paramedics have recovered and joined back their duties.

However, the spread of infection at a lightning speed has sent alarm bells ringing in the Health department.

A doctor from SMHS told Kashmir Observer that they are overloaded with work since a number of doctors are off due to Covid.

He said people are visiting hospitals since the OPD’s have not been closed yet.

The doctors fear that more health workers might be tested Covid-19 positive in the coming days.

Dr. Atif Sanae who is posted in SMHS told Kashmir Observer that since Doctors are in direct touch with the patients —thus more vulnerable to get infected.

“The Omicron spreads at a much faster rate and has a tendency to infect more and more people,” he said.

Sources told Kashmir Observer that the administration has so far failed to “break the chain” in hospitals and no arrangements have been made to boost the staff.

However, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, Director, Health Services Kashmir told Kashmir Observer that they are engaging the MBBS final year students

“There is no shortage of staff and doctors as such. If a Doctor comes positive he joins back shortly,” Dr. Mushtaq said.

He said the administration is going to engage final year students of MBBS and nurses shortly to be deputed in various hospitals.

He further added that the infectivity of Omicron is very high even if the “severity is less”.

He said that the department is fully prepared to tackle the ongoing third wave and have enough equipment to deal with it.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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