Anantnag: Doctors and paramedics at the Shopian district hospital in south Kashmir have accused the hospital administration of risking their lives by forcing them to wear “substandard” protective gears including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks and gloves.
This comes at a time while the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the Shopian district has risen to seven. Many are quarantined and the COVID-19 clinic of the hospital is one of the busiest in the south Kashmir region.
A doctor at the hospital told Kashmir Reader that gowns given to them have been locally made with sub-optimal material which will do nothing to protect them from the virus.
“These are just substandard rain coats. It would have been better if they would have given us at least proper rain coats,” the doctor said, adding that the same was the case with gloves and masks.
Sources in the hospital said that the N-95 masks have been hard to come by and the staff is being forced to wear the regular triple layer masks.
“Some of the paramedical staff is even devoid of that. They roam around without any masks, which actually mocks at the protection given to the doctors because all spend the whole day together,” another doctor at the hospital said.
The doctors and the paramedics rue that they are now afraid of going home in the evening after working in such conditions.
“Only last week a patient was tested positive a day after he roamed the general ward of our hospital seeking treatment for a regular ailment. Are all of us not being made scapegoats in this scenario?” the terrified doctors told Kashmir Reader.
Medical Superintendent (MS) of the hospital, Dr G M Bhat, when contacted said that the government guidelines are to provide N-95 masks to people engaged at the COVID-19 clinic.
“The others in the hospital get the regular triple layer masks,” he said, adding that the hospital has ordered more protective gear and it will be arriving today.
He said that the hospital will be getting 200 more PPE’s, “the same ones used at SKIMS,”
The doctors at the hospital however negate his claims and say that even the people engaged at the COVID-19 clinic at the hospital are wearing the same sub-standard protective gear.