A picnic amid pandemic

Almost entire staff of GMC Anantnag's Microbiology goes to Pahalgam for a day's outing, on a Monday morning

A picnic amid pandemic


Anantnag: Amid the raging pandemic in Kashmir, almost the entire staff of the Microbiology department of Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital here, went on a day-long picnic to Pahalgam, leaving the functioning of the department to a couple of junior paramedics.

The Microbiology department takes care of the diagnostic part of the hospital. As the number of Covid-19 positive people has gone up in the region, the Microbiology department has become the most important section of the hospital.

However, the staff of the department, headed by Dr Rubeena Hakak, chose a Monday to enjoy a picnic, leaving the department in the hands of a couple of technicians.

Kashmir Reader tried talking to Dr Hakak, who was in Pahalgam with the staff, but she did not attend the phone call.

Sources at the hospital told Kashmir Reader that the entire diagnostic set-up is dependent on the Microbiology department and their absence was causing severe inconvenience to the general public as well as to the functioning of the hospital.

“This is a time when the coronavirus has come back with a vengeance. To think of a picnic at this time, that too when you are responsible for the diagnostics at a hospital, is highly irresponsible,” a doctor at the hospital told Kashmir Reader.

He said that at least 12 people from the department have gone for the day-long picnic. The question is how and why were they provided the permission by the administration to do so, amid the pandemic.
“They have been permitted by the Principal GMC, Dr Showkat Jeelani, to go for the picnic,” the source at the hospital said. “They should not have been permitted to do so, that too on a Monday,” he added.
Jeelani, while talking to Kashmir Reader, acknowledged that he has permitted the staff of the department to go for a picnic. “Yes, I have permitted them to go on a picnic. It has not affected the functioning of the department however,” Jeelani said.

He did not say how many members of the staff have gone for the picnic. “I do not remember it,” he said.

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