Published on May 03, 2021
AHMEDABAD: Dr Yatin Darji, a staff member at Civil Hospital, was infected with Covid in the third week of April. On May 1, he was discharged from the 1,200-bed hospital. He was among the 50-odd doctors and staff members of Civil Hospital who were infected in the current wave.
“I had taken my first shot of the vaccine on February 12 and the second on March 13,” said Dr Darji, who appealed to all to get vaccinated. Dr Darji added: “I was constantly associated with the Covid hospital. Thus, I got infected, but my lung infection was only 20-25%. So I was admitted with moderate symptoms and relatively lesser oxygen dependency.”
Dr Kartikeya Parmar, the nodal officer of the 1,200-bed Covid hospital at Civil Hospital, said that doctors maintain the record of vaccinations of those admitted to the hospital. “The share of those vaccinated even with the first shot is very small compared to the overall number,” he said. “It also applies to doctors and healthcare workers (HCWs). Their number is relatively very less compared to the last surge.”
Close to 4 lakh persons have taken vaccinations in the first phase. The Civil Hospital data reveals that from March 2020 to February 2021, a total of 70 faculty members, 202 resident doctors, 56 interns, and 189 nursing staff had been infected. Over the past two months, the total number has not exceeded 70, said officials.
Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA), said that the move of vaccinating HCWs first paid off as this time there are fewer infections and staff quarantines, which is giving the hospitals much-needed workforce at this crucial juncture.
“We also have better defined protocols now for both treating the public and healthcare workers,” he said. “That could be one reason for the infection spread being less.”
In a study authored by Dr Parmar and other senior faculty members at Civil Hospital, the doctors had focused on 161 colleagues who were infected with Covid in 2020. Of the total, only 21% had required hospitalization as 52% had opted for home isolation to recuperate. The average recuperation period was 11 days, and nine had required oxygen support.
Sources, however, pointed out that the numbers — both in this wave and the last — must be considered with the understanding that healthcare workers are often encouraged not to test if they show only mild symptoms and work with proper medication. “Major hospitals have a severe staff crunch, and thus, if a doctor or a staff member has mild symptoms, they are often not reported,” said a doctor on the condition of anonymity.