At Kashmir’s lone maternity hospital, PPE is a bed sheet and a rain coat
Staff and people exit Lal Ded Hospital through a disinfecting tunnel set up by Srinagar Municipality (File photo: KM/Umar Ganie)
Srinagar: Bizarre it may sound, but the paramedical staff in Lal Ded Maternity hospital use raincoats and stitch aprons from bed-sheets to protect themselves from coronavirus.
“We have shelled money to buy raincoats. Many among us have stitched bed sheets and use them as aprons. Every day we have to deal with hundreds of patients who come from various places,” a senior nurse at LD hospital told The Kashmir Monitor pleading anonymity.
The senior nurse said that hundreds of attendants throng the hospital daily without being even thermal screened by the authorities.
“We are being given one hand sanitizer for a week. There is no respite in the rush of people to the hospital. The hospital administration should have provided a PPE kit right from watchman to doctor,” she said.
Medical Superintendent LD hospital, Shabir Siddiqui said they have “adequate supplies available for the staff.”
“These nurses themselves use the raincoats. We have adequate supplies for three months at least. We are following all the protocols of Ministry for Health,” he said.
Likewise, paramedics at Government Bone and Joint Hospital are treating patients without protective gear.
“We are being given one surgical mask for 24 hours. An apron is given, but it is to be used for days together. There is no concept of N95 masks and other PPE kits,” a nursing staff member said.
Medical Superintendent, Bone and Joint Hospital, Suhail Sultan said they are following necessary protocols to keep themselves safe from coronavirus.
Jammu and Kashmir administration has declared premier health institutes including SKIMS, JLNM, and SMHS as COVID -19 hospitals after positive cases surged in the valley. Staff members are provided adequate protective gear in these hospitals.
However, medical staff from non-COVID -19 hospitals do not enjoy such facility. Most of the staff is working without proper safety gear which has put them at high risk of contracting the infection.