At 18%, Telangana records highest positivity rate among health staff

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Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published: September 4, 2020 2:41:06 am

People wait in a queue to give their nasal swab samples to test for the coronavirus in Hyderabad. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A/File)

Telangana has reported 18 per cent coronavirus positivity rate among health workers—the highest in the country. Maharashtra has the second highest rate at 16 per cent.

On Thursday, the Centre pulled up states with a high positivity rate of Covid-19 among health workers—such as doctors, nurses, staffers and hospital cleaners—and asked them to evaluate the situation. The other states and Union Territories with a high Covid-19 positivity rate are Delhi (14 per cent), Karnataka (13 per cent), Puducherry (12 per cent) and Punjab (11 per cent).

“We have drawn the attention of these states through the Ministry of Home Affairs. The issue highlights hospital infection practises. After all, we must raise the question how healthcare workers are getting infected. Is it the hospital, because that could be one reason, and if standard protection control is being followed or not,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, said Thursday.

Bhushan said they have advised a ‘buddy system’ under which two health workers will supervise each other’s donning and doffing procedure to minimise infection. He added states have been advised to monitor areas from where health workers come, and declare them containment zones if needed or contain the spread of the virus if local cases are found.

Dr Avinash Bhondwe, IMA Maharashtra president, said more Covid-19 cases were being noticed among government doctors and general practitioners. “General physicians are still not getting good quality PPE kits and the government has not standardised rates for them,” he said.

In Maharashtra, till August 29, a total of 4,274 doctors with the IMA were infected and 408 had died. The death rate among medical practitioners is higher at 9.5 per cent than the normal population. There is no government data to show how many health workers have been infected, but the actual figure is expected to be much higher.

Maharashtra also accounts for maximum overall cases (24.7 per cent) in the country. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh together account for 60 per cent of India’s caseload. ositivity rate among health staff

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