Covid-19: Doctors’ mortality rate in Bangladesh ‘highest in the world’

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Healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus battle are falling victim to the virus across the world, but experts say the pandemic seems to turn deadly for Bangladeshi doctors in terms of mortality rate.

Over the past two weeks, the deaths of doctors from coronavirus have been reported almost every day in the country, taking the total tally to 43 as of June 18, said Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) President Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin.

Besides, Doctors Safety, Rights and Responsibility said six other physicians died with coronavirus symptoms.
According to various organisations, coronavirus has claimed the lives of about 50 doctors, which is around four percent of the nation’s total Covid-19 fatalities.

BMA President Mohiuddin said 3,301 health workers, including 1,040 doctors, 901 nurses, and 1,360 technicians and others engaged in different activities at the hospitals were also infected during the same period.

But the number is much higher as per the data of other bodies of physicians, nurses and healthcare employees.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Vice-Chancellor Kanak Kanti Barua said majority of the doctors who have died so far are senior ones who have comorbidities.

He said most doctors are getting infected while dealing with patients who come to them hiding information about their symptoms.

“Many patients, along with their attendants, come to doctors without wearing masks. They also hide their infection. Even, many patients who come to BSMMU for tests visit my room without any reason. Sometimes patients show aggressiveness if they are barred. It’s a big problem,” he said.

“We’ll face dire consequences if we can’t protect our doctors and health workers from the virus. The deaths of senior doctors are irreparable loss to the nation,” he observed.

Dr Kanak Kanti said all the hospitals should now focus on infection control measures to protect the doctors and other health workers.