Data from 10 major public and private Covid care hospitals in the city shows that more than 2,109 healthcare workers have contracted Covid-19, and at least 18, including one mohalla clinic doctor, have died.
AIIMS seems to be the worst-affected. Dr D K Sharma, medical superintendent of the hospital, told TOI that 769 healthcare workers — including nine faculty members, 39 residents, 144 nurses and 577 others — have tested positive in the hospital till date. Of them, five have died. Ram Manohar Lohia is the second most affected with 162 positive cases among healthcare workers and three confirmed deaths.
Not scared, worried we may infect family: Docs
As healthcare workers, we know the risks involved, but what concerns us the most is the fact that we may be putting the lives of our loved ones at risk too,” said a senior doctor at RML. The hospital started receiving Covid-19 cases from February 24.
The doctor, who has been involved with patient management here since the beginning, said she has been sleeping separately from her spouse since then and hasn’t seen her elderly mother even once in four months. “At times, it does take a toll on our mental health. But we continue to do our job,” she said.
Dr Aseem Gupta, an anaesthesia specialist at Lok Nayak, died due to Covid-19 on Sunday. Before him, another hospital employee — Charan Singh, in-charge of anaesthesia store — had died due to the disease. “Singh was due to retire on June 30,” one of his colleagues pointed out.
According to Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak, all healthcare workers are provided PPEs according to the protocol but that cannot ensure 100% protection. “At our hospital, 84 doctors and nurses have tested positive for Covid-19 till date and two have died due to the disease,” he said.
Hindu Rao Hospital, which is run by the north corporation, has witnessed three deaths due to Covid-19 among healthcare workers and around 97 positive cases, sources said.
At Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty (RGSS) Hospital, a security guard who contracted Covid-19 died due to the disease two month ago, authorities said. A doctor working at a mohalla clinic in Najafgarh succumbed to the disease a few days ago.
One death each due to Covid-19 has been confirmed among doctors associated with Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Sitaram Bhartia Research Institute. A nurse working at Kalra Hospital also died due to the infection.
“Healthcare workers aren’t scared, they are concerned. First, about spreading the infection to their loved ones. And second, about whether they or their family members will get the same level of care on contracting the infection as they are providing to others,” said Dr Ashok Seth, chairman of the Fortis institute.
Dr Arun Gupta, president of Delhi Medical Council, said doctors, nurses and healthcare workers brave the risk of infection and constraints of working while wearing the PPEs for long hours. “If the public and the authorities show some respect for them, it will be a big encouragement,” he said, remembering his friend, Dr Aseem Gupta, who celebrated when Indian Air Force showered flowers on Lok Nayak Hospital on May 3 as a mark of respect to healthcare workers in their fight against Covid-19.
“This is a moment of pride. The whole country stands with us. This type of honour that we are getting is a sign that they are proud of us. We will try to fight this coronavirus disease,” Dr Gupta had told TV channels.