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Like Me, Many Doctors Have Tested COVID Positive; There Is a Workforce Crisis

I tested positive in the second wave as well, even after being fully vaccinated.

Published
My Report
3 min read

Producer: Varsha Rani

Video Editor: Subroto Adhikari

In the first wave, there was a shortage of PPE kits; in the second wave, there was a shortage of oxygen; and in the third wave, there is a shortage of doctors.

I am a resident doctor at New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital. On 5 January, I tested positive for COVID-19 again. I am currently under home isolation. I want to emphasize that the situation is extremely serious because every third doctor is either COVID-19 positive or is waiting for their results to come.

As of 6 January, 165 doctors at Safdarjung Hospital have tested COVID-19 positive. This situation is not only restricted to one hospital or one state, but is common in all states across the nation.
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I tested positive in the second wave, as well as, this time, even after being double vaccinated. I want to emphasize that this variant is equally debilitating. I had a similar experience with the second wave with the Delta variant. It causes fever with chills, excruciating body ache, weakness, and severe headache. The situation is almost comparable.

The only thing is that the requirement for oxygen is less common because the affinity for this virus for the lungs is less common.

High COVID Risk For My Aged Parents

I have locked myself in a separate room at home. I am very much concerned about my family because I live with my aged parents who have comorbidities.

People are saying that Omicron is a mild variant but the amount of distress it can cause to a person who is aged and has comorbidity is not studied properly yet.

Even the rate of infection is more in children and I have children at my home. So I am very much scared and concerned.

My caregiver is my mother who keeps the food and everything at the doorstep, wearing a mask. I take all the precautions. I have a separate set of utensils.

The problem is that all the doctors do not have the space to keep themselves isolated in a separate room. Secondly, most of these doctors reside in hostels or flats that they share with other doctors.

As of now, no accommodation facility has been provided by the administration. How will these doctors isolate themselves? How will they take care of their food?

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Doctors Under Stress Due To Shortage of Staff

We have been raising this concern and warning the authorities that we were apprehensive for almost two months that there would be a huge shortage and a crisis of healthcare workers across the nation.This situation will funnel down and affect the patients only.

I am currently posted in the doppler unit (ultrasound) and out of four doctors who were there, three of us have tested positive and only one is currently working.

It is causing great distress. Not only physically but mentally as well, and it is ultimately affecting patient care.

Finally on 7 January, the Supreme court allowed the NEET PG counselling to resume.

Finally, Supreme Court Allows NEET-PG Counselling

We are already late by nine months and even now the counselling will happen at multiple stages. At least one month is required for resident doctors to join the respective hospitals.

Still, we are hopeful and we are taking it as a breather that finally new doctors are going to join the hospitals and strengthen the healthcare system for better patient care.

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(The author is a resident doctor at Safdarjung hospital, New Delhi. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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