ISLAMABAD-Around fifty healthcare professionals including doctors and nurses performing duties in the hospitals of federal capital have been infected with the novel coronavirus (COV-19) so far, The Nation learnt on Monday.

The data showed that as the number of infected people with COVID-19 has surged to 415 the toll of healthcare professionals getting infected is also increasing.

According to the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), 50 healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and paramedics have been infected with the virus in the battle against COVID-19. Till the end of the previous month, the number was 39 including 16 doctors, 10 nurses and 13 paramedic staff. However, the NEOC data showed that above 10 healthcare professionals were added only in last five days.

The NEOC latest details of healthcare professionals of the city said that the COVID-19 has been confirmed in 23 doctors, 12 nurses and 15 other staff of the hospitals.

It further said that 41 patients have been put in home isolation while two in admitted in the hospitals who are clinically stable. The NEOC details said that six healthcare professionals have been recovered and discharged while one has died.

It also said that all COVID-19 infected healthcare workers in federal capital were performing duties elsewhere instead of COVID-19 critical care.

A document said that 180 contacts of 50 healthcare workers were identified and all were put in quarantine. All of 180 contacts were tested for COVID-19 and 10 were confirmed with the virus.

An official of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) informed The Nation that around 10 doctors of the hospital have been so far infected with the virus and five were added in last week.

PIMS Executive Director (ED) AnserMaxood talking to The Nation said that though he ‘does not remember’ how many of his hospital health professionals have been infected with the virus, but those who were confirmed were from other departments.

“Doctors and staff from Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) and other Outdoor Patient Departments (OPDs) were infected with the virus,” he said. Earlier, the doctors from urology and children hospital were also confirmed with the virus. Dr. AnserMaxood said that all the medical staff of the hospital received virus from the community and no one was infected from the COVID-19 ward.

Spokesperson Federal General Services (FGS) Polyclinic hospital Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed informed The Nation that no fresh case of healthcare professional was confirmed in the hospital and earlier doctors and staff tested positive were discharged from the hospital. He said that five COVID-19 patients were admitted in the hospital while one patient died on Sunday.

Health officials said that samples of six doctors and a nurse was taken from Akbar Niazi Teaching hospital at BharaKahu on April 27. Officials said that five doctors and a nurse were tested positive with the virus.

Principal Islamabad Medical and Dental College (IMDC) of the teaching hospital said that he was not updated about the doctors infection however, possibly someone got infected with the virus from the community.

Earlier, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) had expressed concerns on the number of healthcare professionals being infected in the country. Secretary General (SG) PMA Dr. QaiserSajjad had stated that PMA has written to the government for provision of Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) to all staff. He said that number of healthcare professionals also became infected as the patients of COVID-19 were also asymptomatic and virus was contracted by nurses and doctors as well.

PMA representative also said that the flow of PPEs to the healthcare professionals needed to be maintained as numbers of patients are increasing and PPE cannot be re-used.