Ill-equipped Civil Hospital staff battling a tough fight

Ill-equipped Civil Hospital staff battling a tough fight

A flu corner set up in a hospital of Ludhiana. File photo

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27

Sans proper safety gear, the medical staff attending to patients at Civil Hospital are fighting a tough battle against Covid-19. The staff got personal safety medical (PSM) kits only after they raised a hue and cry. But, even these kits will not serve the purpose.

Since the staff is more vulnerable to the deadly virus, they demand proper layering of the protection gear. Though kits have been provided to the staff on duty, the other staff, including safai karmacharis, are doing their duties without proper safety. At this juncture, cleanliness is very important.

Safai karmacharis bring their own sanitiser

A safai karmachari at Civil Hospital said although the other staff had been provided with safety kits, nobody was thinking about them. “I am asking my contractor and also the hospital authorities but nobody is listening to our demands. We are regularly cleaning the hospital and also come in contact with infection, but nobody is paying heed to our demands. We just get one single-use mask a day and sometimes the staff on duty, out of concern, gives me gloves,” he said.

A ward attendant at the hospital said the staff in isolation ward had been provided with the protective gear but the other staff like them had not been provided with N95 masks.

“Since the outbreak, we have been given only one 100 ml bottle of sanitiser, gloves and disposable masks. Now, I am bringing my own sanitiser. We have to go near the isolation ward to mark our attendance in the register. We have requested so many times that the register should be kept in our ward, as one can contract infection, but in vain,” she said.

She said she brought an extra pair of clothes and changes before going home.

Most staff not given proper safety gear

A doctor, on the condition of anonymity, said the safety equipment provided to them was not enough. Only the staff in the isolation ward has been provided with the necessary kits. The patient first comes to the flu corner and if those on duty are not provided with the proper safety gear, then how can they save themselves from infection. Only three-layered masks have been provided to those on duty in flu corner.

The hospital was already facing staff shortage and now, doctors and nursing staff wre doing overtime to handle the crisis and difficult situation.

The Senior Medical Officer of Civil Hospital, Dr Ravi Datt, said safai karamcharis were being provided with single-use masks and the same went with those deployed in the flu corner. “Only three-layer masks, as recommended by the government, provide proper protection and we are providing them with the same. Those in the isolation ward are given proper safety kits,” he said.

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