157 doctors among 352 healthcare workers test Covid positive at Chandigarh's PGIMER

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: As many as 352 Healthcare Workers (HCWs), including 157 doctors and faculty members, in the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here have tested positive for Covid. 

Surprisingly, 95% of them are fully vaccinated.

The HCWs got infected one after another since December 20, 2021. Now, the administration of PGIMER is keeping a close watch on the situation as the increase in Covid cases among HCWs is commensurate with the hike in cases among the population at large, said a hospital official. 

It is reassuring to note that almost all of these infections have been mild. These healthcare workers, who are staying in hostels and who do not have provision for home isolation, have been isolated at Nehru Hospital Extension Ward.

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“At present, it is difficult to confirm if these are Omicron cases. The administration is keeping a close watch on them and taking all steps to control the situation. All the departments have been advised to strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviours and all staff members have been instructed to wear appropriate masks at all times. 

“The administration, in association with the Association of Resident Doctors, has decided to convert all messing facilities in PGI hostels, into ‘take away’ eateries. All sports events and tournaments stand cancelled and indoor courts have been closed.

Teaching activities in the institute are being conducted through online mode,” the hospital said in a statement.

As far as PGIMER is concerned, the high positivity rate among the staffers is an added worry as it is already suffering from inadequate staff to cater to the patient load from across the region. 

Since the pandemic broke out in March 2020, more than 2,300 health workers of the institute including doctors, have been tested positive. A few got re-infected in the second wave last year and during the ongoing third wave.