Telangana has recorded an 18% Covid-19 positivity rate among healthcare workers, making it the state with the highest number of medical professionals getting infected, reported The Hindu. The Union health ministry released the data at a media briefing on Thursday.

“In Telangana, the positivity rate in healthcare workers is 18%. In Maharashtra, it is 16%, 14% in Delhi, 13% in Karnataka, 12% in Puducherry, and 11% in Punjab,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. “These are the states where the positivity rate is on the higher side.” The health ministry official added that the states had been notified about the matter.

Bhushan said the Centre had suggested a “buddy system” under which two health workers will oversee each other’s process to minimise the risk of an infection, reported The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, Telangana’s health department officials said they had asked doctors, nurses and others in non-coronavirus government hospitals to maintain all the required precautions.

Top health officials in Telangana had last week said that there were nearly 2,000 Covid-19 cases among medical professionals, with nearly 14 casualties so far, according to The New Indian Express.

Till August 29, in Maharashtra, a total of 4,274 doctors with the Indian Medical Association tested positive and 408 had died. However, there is no official government data to reveal the number of healthcare workers that have tested positive for the disease so the actual figure is likely to be much higher.

Indian Medical Association, Maharashtra, President Dr Avinash Bhondwe said that more cases of infection were being detected among government doctors and general practitioners. “General physicians are still not getting good quality PPE [personal protective equipment] kits and the government has not standardised rates for them,” he said.

India’s coronavirus case count went up to 39,37,017 on Friday with 83,341 new cases. The toll rose by 1,096 to 68,472. Over 30 lakh people have recovered so far. The Centre on Thursday said that five states Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account for 70% of total coronavirus deaths in the country.

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