COVID-19: Doctors in Srinagar allege lack of protective gear despite surge in cases

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Srinagar: The health workers posted at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital, Srinagar have apprehension that the hospital may turn out to be a new hotspot for COVID-19 soon as they are being allegedly forced to work without proper protective gears.

A group of doctors and para-medics alleged that doctors, paramedics and nurses are made to work without proper personal protection equipment’s and the duty shifts are so long that anyone will fall prey to the virus.

They said that a patient from Habba Kadal was recently admitted in the hospital whose COVID-19 test was conducted three days after undergoing treatment and the test was reported positive late on Sunday night, sending shock waves among those who treated her at SMHS.

They alleged that there is complete mess in the hospital as every single health worker is made to remain on duty for over 20 hours which is quite impossible for anyone to treat the patients and protect him or herself from the virus in absence of proper safety equipments.

A doctor wishing anonymity said that over past few weeks administration here has immensely failed to clear the ongoing mess with health workers including the paramedic, nurses and technicians falling prey to the deadly virus by exposing them to patients for around 22 hours on daily basis.

“One can bear the PPE for maximum of 7 to 8 hours only and can’t be reused but the health workers here are made to remain on duty for over 12 up to 22 hours.”

He said the ICMR guidelines are on papers only but not meant to be implemented on ground to safeguard the health workers from contracting the deadly disease.

“A lady who tested positive on May 15 was admitted to hospital some three days back and was undergoing treatment. She was moved to intensive care unit (ICU) where she remained on ventilator support for at least a day but then tested positive next evening,” he said.

They said that the lady was tested positive in ICU where not a single health worker was wearing protection equipment, thereby exposed them all to this deadly virus.

“More than half of the staff was put under quarantine after the lady tested positive. If these cases are repeated what will happen to the hospital instead of catering the huge flow of patients it will have to shut,” said another health worker. (KNO)

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