Combating the pandemic of COVID-19 in India: health care worker perspective

Barsha Gadapani Pathak, Rukman M. Manapurath


As the pandemic of COVID-19 intensifies there is a huge burden on the health care system of each country. As predicted by epidemic model, India with 1.3 billion population and only 0.76 doctors per thousand people will have 1 million people affected by COVID-19 needing ventilatory support. This situation focusses on the substantial thrust on health care workers in India while dealing with the pandemic and protection of the health care workers from COVID-19 infection is significant as they are the key-groups in health system to procure win-battle status against COVID-19. Henceforth, after meticulously comparing various countries’ strategies to protect their HCWs this brief study is being prepared and few recommendations has been suggested which may enable the protection of HCWs in India. Un-interrupted supply of appropriate PPE, phenomenon of presenteeism among HCWs, burn-outs among HCWs, front-line department protocol for protection of HCWs, need of constant psycho-analysis among HCWs, stigma in society for HCWs, prophylaxis for HCWs against COVID-19 and HCWs’ family concerns are some of the issues which are being highlighted in this paper.


Health care workers, COVID-19, India, Heath care system

Full Text:



Pandemic CC, Rica C, Salvador E, Martin S and Lucia S. Coronavirus Cases: Deaths: Recovered: Coronavirus Worldometer Sections: 6–7 (2020). Available at: coronavirus/. Accessed on 26 June 2020.

Xinghui, K. Why are there so few coronavirus infections in Singapore’s health workers? This week in Asia (2020). Available at: https://www.scmp. com/author/kok-xinghui. Accessed on 3 March 2020. New Delhi. COVID-19 for India Updates. Elli Klein, Gary Lin; 2020. Available at: Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Deo MG. Doctor population ratio for India - The reality. Indian J Med Res. 2013;137:2013. India. Hospital Beds (per 1,000 people). World Health Organization. The World Bank; 2020. Available at: https://data.worldbank. org/indicator/Sh.Med.Beds.Zs. Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Wang J, Zhou M, Liu F. Reasons for healthcare workers becoming infected with novel coronavirus disease 2019. J Hosp Infect. 2020;105(1):100-1.

Connell GO. An Italian I. C. U. doctor describes the desperate fi ght against COVID-19 in Lombardy Homeless As COVID-19 Beyond ‘The Exorcist,’ A Coronavirus. 2020. Available at: /italian-icu-doctor-describes-desperate-fight-against-covid-19-lombardy. Accessed on 3 March 2020.

Spain ranks first for COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers. 2020. Available at: https:// care-workers.html. Accessed on 3 March 2020.

Coordination E, Rioja L. Comment The resilience of the Spanish health system against the COVID-19 pandemic. 2667, 19–20 (2020). Available at: S2468-2667(20)30060-8. Accessed on 27 April 2020.

CDC: Nearly 10, 000 Health Care Workers Had Coronavirus-But There’s Probably More. 2020. Available at: national-news/articles/2020-04-14/cdc-nearly-10-000-health-care-workers-had-covid-19. Accessed on 18 April 2020.

Sharma, N. Stigma: the other enemy India’s overworked doctors face in the battle against COVID-19. Quartz India, 2020.

Outbreak C. Health care workers at highest risk of contracting coronavirus Mandatory contact tracing apps will not elicit honest symptom reporting : Harvard epidemiologist Lockdown avoided Covid fatalities, but may cost lives indirectly : Study. (2020). Available from 2020/06/03/health/coronavirus-contact-tracing-apps.html. Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Radhakrishnan V, Sen S, Naresh S. Data | How many doctors and nurses have tested positive for coronavirus in India? The Hindu 4 (2020). Available at: Accessed on 18 April 2020.

Outbreak C. 548 doctors, nurses, paramedics infected with Covid- 19 across India : Report. 4–8 (2020). Available at: https://www.hindustantimes. com/india-news/548-docs-nurses-paramedics-infected-with-covid-19-across-india-report/story-o2pM3w2adM4g3PXI6TBlkN.html. Accessed on 8 May 2020.

31 doctors, 3 nurses have died of COVID-19. 2020 (2020). Available at: https://www.deccanchronicle. com/nation/in-other-news/300520/31-doctors-3-nurses-have-died-of-covid-19.html. Accessed on 30 May 2020.

Kaltwasser J. Coronavirus: For Health Care Workers, Risk of Infection, But Also Burnout. Contagion Live 8512 (2020). Available at: Accessed on 30 May 2020. Kerala. How Kerala Is protecting its Health workers from coronavirus; 2020. Available at: Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Suhas Munshi. Bhilwara ’ s Tale of Negligence : Infected Doctors, Latest COVID-19 Case Hint at Possible Community Spread. 2020 (2020). Available from news/india/bhilwaras-tale-of-negligence-infected-doctors-latest-covid-19-case-hint-at-possibility-of-community-spread-2552595.html. Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Mehra, S. Coronavirus in India: 900 quarantined after doctor tests positive in Delhi. India Today 2020 (2020). Available at: https://www.indiatoday. in/mail-today/story/coronavirus-in-india-900-quarantined-after-doctor-tests-positive-in-delhi-1660176-2020-03-27. Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Widera E, Chang A, Chen HL. Presenteeism : A Public Health Hazard. Clin Pract: Clin Img. 2010;;25:1244-7.

A.Al-Tawfiq ZAM. Middle East Respiratory (MERS-CoV) Infection. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014;(01):185–90.

Xinghui, K. Coronavirus : why so few infections in Singapore’s health workers ? Coronavirus : Treehouse isolation for some in. Available at: Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Recommendation for empiric use of hydroxy-chloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. (2020). Available at: https://www.mohfw. Accessed on 27 April 2020.

ICMR. Advisory on the use of Hydroxychloroquin as prophylaxis for SARSCoV2 infection.pdf. (2020). Available on techdoc/V5_Revised. Accessed on 27 April 2020.

Coronavirus in India: Guwahati doctor dies after allegedly taking hydroxychloroquine. 2020 (2020). Avaliable at: coronavirus-assam-doctor-dies-allegedly-after-consuming-anti-malarial-drug-2203271. Accessed on 27 April 2020.