- The infections were detected between April 29 and July 20
- 1,409 healthcare providers participated in the study
- 40.3% of the infected were nurses, 18% physicians and the remaining 41.7% were other staff
- 93% of the infected had mild symptoms, 2.1% had moderate symptoms, 0.7% had severe symptoms
- The remaining 7.2% were asymptomatic
The rate of novel coronavirus infections among healthcare providers has been quite high in Bangladesh.
A recent study has revealed that 9.86% of the healthcare providers at the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, a non-Covid health facility, were infected with the virus.
The study titled "Clinical Presentation, Management and In-Hospital Outcome of Healthcare Personnel with Covid-19 Disease" was published in the Cureus Journal of Medical Science on August 24.
This cross-sectional study was carried out in the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute of Bangladesh from April 29 to July 20.
Healthcare providers in this hospital who experienced fever or respiratory symptoms, or came in close contact with Covid-19 patients at home or their workplaces, were included in this study.
A total of 1,409 healthcare providers participated in the study. Of them, 394 were sampled for Covid-19 tests and 139 were found positive for Covid-19.
According to the findings, among the healthcare providers, the infection rate was 9.86%.
Of them, 40.3% were nurses, 18% physicians and the remaining 41.7% were other staff.
Lead researcher of the study Professor Fazila-Tun-Nesa Malik, also the chief consultant cardiologist at the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, told The Business Standard, "Although our hospital is not dedicated for Covid-19, many patients came here with heart ailments and later tested positive for Covid-19."
"We have to provide services for these patients. That is why we have two wards for Covid-19 patients. We are treating all heart patients, and those who are Covid-19 positive are being treated in the two wards," she said.
Professor Fazila-Tun-Nesa Malik said that unlike other hospitals, the national heart foundation hospital did not refuse patients, even if they could not show the Covid-19-negative certificates, because it is very important for heart patients to get treatment on time.
"Our healthcare providers were provided with adequate protective gear. Still, they were infected with Covid-19. Now, novel coronavirus transmission has reached the community level and the healthcare providers have also been infected by their community," she added.
The research said that the most common symptoms of Covid-19 positive healthcare providers are: fever, fatigue, cough, body aches, headache, and anosmia.
Ninety-three% of the healthcare providers had mild symptoms, 2.1% had moderate symptoms and 0.7% had severe symptoms.
The remaining 7.2% were asymptomatic.
Most of them were given treatment of either ivermectin plus azithromycin or ivermectin plus doxycycline.
Only 14.4% of the healthcare providers were hospitalised, while 59.7% were treated in home isolation and 25.9% in institutional isolation.
All healthcare providers, except for one, recovered from Covid-19.
Professor Fazila-Tun-Nesa Malik said another study is underway to find out how many of the healthcare providers who tested positive for Covid-19 were infected in hospitals and in the community.
The Bangladesh Medical Association is collecting and storing information on Covid-19 positive and death of healthcare providers across the country.
According to the BMA, so far 2,688 doctors, 1,931 nurses and 3,166 other health workers have tested positive for Covid-19 in Bangladesh.
Of them, 81 doctors, 11 nurses and seven other health workers have died.
Doctors, alone, account for the highest number of deaths among professionals.