Other States

Coronavirus | ‘11% of doctors dying due to COVID-19 are from West Bengal’

Health workers in protective suits outside the emergency ward of a hospital in Kolkata. Photo used for representation purpose only. File   | Photo Credit: AP

As many as 51 of the 454 doctors in the country who have died so far due to COVID-19 are from West Bengal, a statistic that’s worrying the medical fraternity in the State.

Even though the daily count of COVID-19 cases reported in the State remains at over 3,000, it is better off than many other States that periodically continue to witness an explosion in the number of cases, and that it should still account for 11% of doctors’ death is emerging as a matter of concern.

Also read: Coronavirus | ‘COVID-19 claims the lives of 104 doctors across the country’

“We are one of the most populous States, and doctors have a high fatality rate because they are exposed to high viral load. But since the rate is substantially high [in West Bengal], we all need to earnestly search for the causes,” Dr. Arjun Dasgupta, a founding member of the West Bengal Doctors’ Forum, told The Hindu.

Another reputed doctor who did not wish to be named said that negligence could be a cause for the high number of deaths even though it was highly unlikely that doctors, of all people, would be negligent. “It is also possible that we are reporting each and every case [of a doctor’s death due to COVID-19], which some other States may not be doing. But whatever the reason, the rate at which doctors are dying is indeed worrisome and needs to be examined,” the doctor said.

Also read: Coronavirus | Indian Medical Association flags death of 196 doctors

The figures are not official but can be considered authentic because they are maintained by various doctors’ associations across the country.

Also read: Data | How many doctors and nurses have tested positive for coronavirus in India?

In West Bengal, the latest casualty is Dr. Arghya Sen, a well-known practitioner at Maslandapur in North 24 Parganas, who died in Kolkata on Thursday. He was only 53. Two among the dead were even younger: Dr. Nitish Kumar, a senior resident at the R.N. Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Science, was 36; and Dr. Surendra Nath Bera, a gynaecologist, was 34.

“Doctors are most vulnerable due to the high viral load. They should be vigilant and alert during practice hours. Even after eight months [since the pandemic broke out], masks and distancing are the surest ways of preventing COVID-19,” said Dr. Rahul Jain, an internal medicine specialist at Bellevue Clinic.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:55:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/11-of-doctors-dying-due-to-covid-19-are-from-west-bengal/article32752261.ece

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