Interns are at high risk of getting infected since patients are hiding their medical history
Doctors fighting coronavirus from the front lines continue to suffer as 28 more physicians were confirmed infected in the past 12 hours until 8am on Sunday.
According to Bangladesh Doctors’ Foundation (BDF), the total number of infected doctors now stands at 352, almost a six-fold increase from just 54 on April 14.
This means some 22 doctors were infected per day over the 12-day period.
Apart from doctors, no less than 400 healthcare professionals have already contracted the novel coronavirus.
Till date, some 15 hospitals have been locked down to stop the spread of the virus.
The majority of the infections continue to be from Dhaka, followed by Narayanganj, Gazipur and Kishoreganj. Most cases were at government hospitals.
The curve crossed the 300 mark around 9pm on Friday. The first 200 infections among doctors were confirmed by April 21, and the first 100 by April 17.
The upward trend of infections among doctors continues amidst widespread discontent from healthcare professionals regarding the quality and distribution of personal protection equipment (PPE).
Several media reports have also questioned the quality of PPE provided to medics.
A government doctor was recently show-caused for criticising health authorities regarding the PPE issue.
Dr Nirupam Das, founder and chief administrator of BDF, said infected doctors accounted for nearly 13% of the total number of registered physicians in the country.
“All other health workers combined, the percentage of infected healthcare professionals stands at a little over 16%, which is higher than that of the US and even Italy,” he added.
Expressing his concern over the issue, President of Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad Dr Iqbal Arsenal said: “It’s a matter of concern that most physicians are contracting the virus at non-Covid-19 hospitals and mostly in Dhaka.”
Bangladesh reported the first death of a doctor diagnosed with Covid-19 on April 15. Earlier, on April 12, a doctor died with symptoms similar to Covid-19 in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday urged government employees not to speak to the media without obtaining permission from higher authorities.