COVID-19: Nurses stop working in Nadia indefinitely, question security measures

COVID-19 Health

When one of the district’s COVID-19 patients, who was recovering in a private hospital’s isolation ward, was transferred to Shaktinagar Zilla Hospital, all the nurses of the hospital left.    

By Ritam Chatterjee

Nadia , April 17, 2020

Nurses from Nadia district’s renowned government hospital, the Shaktinagar Zilla Hospital, have discontinued work amid fears of a ‘boycott’ that another nurse was earlier subjected to.   

Two days ago, when a nurse from Nadia district working at Belaghata ID hospital, West Bengal’s only government hospital for COVID-19 patients, returned to her house, she was stopped by her own neighbours from collecting drinking water. Even the milkman, fearing contagion, has stopped delivering milk at her place.           

One of the nurses from the Shaktinagar Zilla hospital, requesting anonymity, raised concerns about nurses’ security. “We all came out as soon as the patient arrived at our hospital in the afternoon yesterday. If we face a situation similar to what one of us was forced to, two days earlier, who will take the responsibility?” she asked.

The state health ministry informed that the person, who was recently tested positive for coronavirus, was admitted on April 8 in a private hospital near National Highway 34, Krishnagar after complaining of difficulty in breathing and high fever. The patient is an employee of the Kolkata Port Trust.

A health official from the Shaktinagar hospital said, “The nurses did not receive a single patient in any ward after the incident. District health officials came to the hospital last night to conduct a meeting with them.”

 Another nurse from the hospital said that they were working under the doctors’ orders. But this would not continue until the state government takes proactive steps for their safety.

“We have demanded a door-to-door announcement in our locality, organized by district health ministry, just like the way announcements are made in a person’s locality when he/she tests positive for the virus. We want our neighbors to know that we’re safe. But we cannot do this ourselves,” she added.

Dr. Shyamal Kumar Pore, General Physician of Ranaghat Sub- Divisional  Hospital, agrees that the nurses’ demand is valid. “Medical workers are toiling day in and day out. If they face this kind of harassment after all that they have done throughout, it is a recipe for disaster,” he said.    

Earlier, the district had reported five positive cases, all from the same family.


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