Lives of health care workers and doctors are at stake in Lucknow as they do not have Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) available, which is essential when treating a COVID-19 positive patient.
By Archita Srivastava
April 13, 2020
Lucknow: As the number of Coronavirus patients increases every day, doctors and health care workers, in the hospitals of Lucknow, demand for more PPE kits and N95 masks. Some doctors have been tweeting requesting for the supply of protective kits, while others have refused to continue their services without proper safety gears, stating they are afraid they will contract the deadly virus.
A doctor from the local primary healthcare centre, Henna Khan, who is assigned to conduct the tests for suspected COVID-19 patients, said, “We are not provided with N95 masks. Previously we were using surgical masks but now even they are out of stock. I am attending patients by covering my face with duppatas. We have been complaining about the unavailability of PPE kits as well but no actions have been taken.”
Several reports suggest that there is a shortage of the Personal Protective Equipment kits across all states. During a video conference on April 10, with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, all states representatives reportedly demanded more quantity of PPEs, ventilators and testing kits.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in a tweet, suggested that the Uttar Pradesh government has been ignoring the justified demands of the nursing staff.
उत्तरप्रदेश सरकार को मास्क व सैनिटाइजर का वितरण सुनिश्चित कर, लोगों को इनकी उपलब्धता के बारे में स्पष्ट रूप से बताना चाहिए।#CongressShowsTheWay pic.twitter.com/JV65Lro5LP— Congress (@INCIndia) April 10, 2020
Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, donated one crore rupees for the procurement of PPE kits for doctors and the medical staff at Azamgarh medical College. Criticizing the present government on the situation in the state, he tweeted:
Not enough testing kits for people. Not enough Personal Protective Equipment for health care workers. Not enough meals to feed the poor.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) April 5, 2020
These are the real challenges today.
सोचो अंदर की रोशनी बुझाकर
कौन पा सका है बाहर के उजाले
Dr. Neeraj Sinha at King Jorge’s Medical (KJMC) hospital pointed out that the demand for the masks and equipments has been discussed with the Centre. He said that public interest litigation has been filed to procure sufficient N-95 masks and PPEs for the state. “The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has also summoned the Centre and the state government to respond to the Public Interest Litigation filed by Salil Tripathi. Hopefully, the decision will be taken soon,” he added. .”
The Jan Swasthya Abhiyaan (JSA), a public health campaign pointed out to Frontline that despite guidelines issued by the ICMR and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), hospitals did not invest adequately in PPEs.
Meanwhile, a Self Help Group (SHG) in Varanasi has employed around 629 women from 230 SHGs where women are manufacturing masks and PPE kits for health workers. The initiative has been taken to overcome the scarcity of the same. On an average, 1500 masks and PPE kits are being manufactured daily. The Ministry of Rural Development has tweeted about the initiative.
The health workers, the self help groups and Jan Swasthya Abhiyaan have also urged the government to step up production of PPEs by introducing manufacturing units in each State.
Picture Courtesy : Rajneesh Srivastava