Six students of Bengaluru medical college working in Covid wards reinfected | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Six medicos of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) working in Covid wards have contracted the virus twice in the past 3-4 months. Five of them are PG medicos and the sixth is an MBBS intern.
A 24-year-old medico, who had recovered from Covid-19 in August and donated plasma, is positive again. The patient has been shifted to another dedicated government hospital in Bengaluru as Covid beds in BMCRI are occupied and some earmarked for isolating the UK returnees.
“As we know, 145 PG medicos have so far tested positive for Covid. Among them five were re-infected. Another re-infected person was an intern at the hospital. Doctors pursuing post-graduation courses in BMCRI are frequently posted at Covid-19. Hence, they are most vulnerable,” said a doctor.
Some PG medicos have completed eight rounds of Covid-19 duty: Each round includes 10 straight days of ward work. After every round of Covid duty, they are sent on quarantine for seven days and tested on the fifth day.
Mulling genomic sequencing: Dean
he only relief is that none of the PG Tmedicos has suffered from severe forms of infection, though hospitalisation was needed in most cases,” said a PG medico. Senior BMCRI professors said a request has been made to conduct genomic sequencing of the swabs to gain clarity. “Genomic sequencing of the first and second swab samples helps us come to conclusions,” said a professor. That the reinfected medicos showed symptoms means they were probably exposed to a different variant of the virus now, said sources.
BMCRI dean and director Dr CR Jayanthi said: “Five PG medicos and one internwere working in non-Covid wards too, besides doing stints in Bowring and Lady Curzon hospital. We don’t know the source of infection. We are considering genomic sequencing of samples, but their first swab samples need to be traced.” To term the second episode a case of ‘reinfection’, it is essential to prove the patient had tested RT-PCR negative after the first infection and genomic sequencing of the swabs is analysed to check if the virus variants were different.
“These are to be seen as cases of reinfection. They tested positive during July, August and again in November, December and January…We suspect Covid antibodies don’t remain effective for more than 3-4 months or they were infected with a different variant now,” a doctor said. At Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, five workers, including two doctors, were infected twice in three months.
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Sagar Biswas

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