1981 doctors, paramedics infected with COVID in Kashmir since January 1

Amid the meteoric rise of COVID-19 infection cases, 1981 doctors and paramedics have been infected with coronavirus in the last 21 days in the Kashmir division.

Srinagar district where all major tertiary care hospitals are situated has witnessed the highest number of positive healthcare workers, a senior official in the Health Department said.

Official details of the Health Department accessed by media agency reveal that 1981 doctors and paramedics tested positive in Kashmir division since January 1 of which the highest number of healthcare workers tested positive in GMC Srinagar where 736 healthcare workers have been confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19.

SKIMS Soura has recorded 376 positive cases among doctors and paramedics in the same period.

Further, the department has compiled a district-wise number of COVID-19 positive cases among the healthcare workers.

Srinagar has recorded 170 cases, Baramulla 188, Budgam 188, Anantnag 43, Bandipora 26, Ganderbal 40, Kulgam 33, Kupwara 44, Pulwama 100, and Shopian 37.

A senior health department official said that higher cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers were affecting the healthcare system.

“Though we are managing, there is a fear that if the number swell, it will have a definite impact on healthcare deliverance,” he said. “Kashmir is seeing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus. As the infections gallop, what adds to the concern is the increasing numbers of doctors and healthcare workers getting infected by the virus. Even though the rate of hospitalisation has not been much of a worry till now, healthcare workers contracting the infection could possibly put the system under stress as the third wave is expected to see a peak soon.”

Spokesperson of Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mir Mushtaq told the media that the healthcare workers had been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.

“This time the number of healthcare workers including doctors coming out COVID-19 positive is higher than previous two waves which is a cause of concern. However, despite odds healthcare workers are putting up a brave front. We have to be cautious. People should not come to hospitals unnecessarily as it enhances the chances of spread of infection which at the same will put healthcare workers at more risk,” he said. “People should not take Omicron lightly. We have seen that there is a misconception among people that this variant is mild, but it has a high transmission rate. This means that the daily spike of cases could see a manifold increase which would ultimately put the burden on the healthcare system. There is a need to be watchful and follow all the guidelines to keep the virus at bay.”