The COVID-19 pandemic has caused high mortality not only in patients but also health care providers. The COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 4.5 million people in India, with an overall case fatality rate of 1.7% as of 10 September 2020. The doctors treating and interacting with patients during these times are at a very high risk of contracting the infection, leading to a possible higher mortality rate than the general public.
A research paper on COVID-19 related mortality data of Indian doctors was written by Aanandita Kapoor & Krishan Mohan Kapoor and was published on www.medrxiv.com
on 30 September 2020. This study's data was collected from the list of deceased doctors released by the Indian Medical Association, IMA, the top body of Indian doctors practicing modern allopathic medicine.
Certain factors attributed in medical literature to death in frontline doctors include lack of adequate PPE, an inadequate technique of donning and doffing of PPE, and non-disclosure by patients of their exposure to possible COVID-19 infection, excessive working hours of doctors, and poor doctor-patient ratio. In the case of infections like COVID-19, the precautionary principle should be used for frontline health workers. There should be a uniform policy regarding the use of personal protective equipment where health workers' occupational health and safety is a high priority. Providing food, rest breaks, decompression time, and adequate time off from work may be as important as the protocols and protective equipment during a protracted battle against COVID-19 infection. “A physically & mentally healthy and well-equipped healthcare workforce is essential for a country to effectively manage COVID-19 cases," concluded Dr. Krishan Mohan Kapoor.
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