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Covid-19: On ground zero doctors, para-medics, nurses casual labours risking lives
4/2/2020 12:23:52 AM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Apr 1: As the Covid-19 cases show spurt in positive cases, doctors, nurses, para-medics and casual labours continue to risk their lives by serving to the people in one or the other way.
Doctors and paramedics, who are directly in contact with the patients with flu and Covid-19 infections admitted in various hospitals, are at high risk of transmitting the disease as they have no personal protection equipment like gowns, N-95 masks, shoe covers, etcs. “Barring a few hosptials in Srinagar, doctors at rest of the hospitals across Kashmir are putting their lives on the line by treating patients with Covid-19 infections without proper protective gear,” said a doctor, who is serving at a peripheral hospital in Kashmir.
Similarly, casual labourers, like safai karamcharis and others too are risking their lives to remaining present on their duties despite knowing the fact how bigger risk they are taken.
Meanwhile in absence of protective gear, nurses in Kashmir are fighting valiantly against coronavirus.
As coronavirus has taking a heavy tool across the world, doctors, nurses, and paramedics are susceptible to catch virus in absence of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We are not given proper protective gear. We are risking our lives but we have to fight this battle together,” said a nurse at CD Hospital Srinagar.
The nurse said they were facing shortage of accommodations. “At least five nurses have to share one small room adjacent to ward. We have to share washroom with attendants. Nobody is concerned about us,” another nurse said.
“There is a fear among families of nurses we may bring home coronavirus and they too might get infected. Families of several nurses told them don’t come to home. There is social stigma attached to us but we continue to do our duties,” the nurse said.
Nurses said they also have been told that bus service is available only within radius of 6-kilometres around hospitals. “We don’t find rented accommodation in surrounding areas of the hospitals in Srinagar as people prefer to stay away from us. Nurses have to cover miles distance daily to reach to the hospitals,” they said.
“When I come back from duty I take a bath in washroom out of my house. I am endangering my family because not wearing protective gear. Even N95 masks and sanitizers are not available for doctors and nurses who are working in the ICUs,” said a nurse working in one of the associated hospitals of Government Medical College Srinagar.
Parveena Khan, president of the nurses association said government needs to protect nurses who work 24x7 in hospitals.
“Nurses are even told to take gowns home and wash them there then reuse next day. Who will like to take infected clothes home? Nurses are on the forefront but are not provided protective gear,” she said.
She said hospitals can run smoothly only when nurses are given protective gear. “We can fight COVID-19 only when we nurses are properly protected. But there is no accommodation for nurses. We too are part of same society. Health should be our priority but with facilities,” she added.
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