Compared to the other countries, the number of physicians, nurses and other health professionals dying of the novel coronavirus is very high. But the authorities have not yet looked into the reasons why the spread could not be contained yet and why such a big number of physicians are dying every day. The frontline fighters are understandably not happy with such lack of compassion.
Ensuring proper treatment is the most important issue in the fight against COVID-19. If the safety of the physicians and other health professionals cannot be ensured, the battle can never be won.
And the key reason behind so many physicians contracting coronavirus is lack of personal protection equipment (PPE). The novel coronavirus is highly contagious and the physicians have to wear PPE while treating the patients.
The physicians have been demanding PPE from the very beginning, even at times saying that they cannot treat patients if they do not have PPE. But instead of ensuring adequate supply of PPE, the government only slammed them for such a stance. As a result, as many as 24 per cent of the physicians and health professionals did not get PPE till the month of May, a recent study finds.
Bangladesh Health Watch (BHW), a civil initiative, carried out the study. 60 frontline health workers serving at government and private hospitals took part in an interview over phone. Although the number does not portray the whole picture, we can assume what is causing such a high number of deaths among the health professionals. We have already lost 45 physicians while over 1,000 of their colleagues have contracted the virus till date.
Who are responsible for the failure to ensure adequate supply of PPE to the health professionals? We need to find an answer to this question.