Kolkata, April 22 (IANS) The Indian Medical Association and seven other doctors’ bodies have written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seeking adequate safety and security of all frontline medical service providers to prevent any collapse of the health services in “the near future”.

“(There is the) issue of safety and security of all the frontline service providers, ie the healthcare workers, must be adequately taken care of, as, if they get affected not only will they become bigger source of epidemic, many health sectors (sic) might collapse in the near future,” the eight doctors’ organisations said in an 11-point letter.

The doctors also called for opening more Corona testing centres and carrying out of tests as per Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines.

“Local administration should also be empowered to order testing as per ICMR standards. There should be sample collection centres at least at every sub-division level,” said the missive, that had among its signatories Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member and IMA past president Santanu Sen.

The signatories also called for giving death certificates of Covid-19 patients as per the ICMR guidelines.

The Banerjee government has formed a number of panels – expert committee, global advisory board and death audit committee, besides three other task forces – to assist the administration in tackling the disease.

The death audit committee, tasked with taking the final call on whether a Coronavirus positive person perished because of the deadly virus or due to some other co-morbidity, has led to a controversy. The global advisory board has among its members Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee.

The doctors’ bodies called for including virologists, epidemiologists, pulmonologists and public health experts in the committees.

They also stressed on the need for providing real time, transparent data, of Covid-19 in Bengal, including daily medical bulletins of all healthcare workers under treatment.

“Training and regular drill of healthcare workers regarding management of Covid-19 should be ensured. Healthcare workers performing duties in Covid hospitals across the state should be specially taken care of,” they said.

–IANS

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