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87,000 health staff infected and 573 dead due to COVID-19

By Ishika Sahni

Beyond 87,000 healthcare workers have been infected because of COVID-19, with only six states — Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat and West Bengal, estimating for three-fourths (approximately 74%) of the case burden and over 86% of the 573 deaths because of the infection, as shown in official data.

According to the data, Maharashtra itself, with the highest number of over 7.3 lakh confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far, accounts for nearly 28% of the infected healthcare workers and more than 50% of the total deaths. The highest number of deaths has also been reported by the three states in healthcare professionals, however, with a wide gap between Maharashtra and the other two. As 292 deaths have been reported in Maharashtra among healthcare workers, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had 49 and 46 deaths, respectively.

A huge number of COVID-19 infections and even deaths of healthcare workers in certain states is being seen with concern by public health experts and officials, who claim risks to frontline workers, can endanger India’s fight against the pandemic. On Thursday, the issue discussed in a review meeting led by the cabinet secretary noticed the Centre cautioning states about the need to assure a critical resource. The possible factors accountable for high infections, officials told, were lax infection control in hospitals and the need for rigid containment measures in areas where health professionals live to safeguard them.

Regardless of the high number of cases, the government has got only 143 claims since April under the Rs 50 lakh COVID-19 insurance scheme for healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 mitigation activities.

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