Covid-19: Medicos without adequate facilities in Kashmir

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By KNT on 24/03/2020.

Covid-19:  Medicos without adequate facilities in Kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 24: Since COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) the major concern in Kashmir is lack of safety gear for doctors and Para-medical staff.

On Saturday two female resident doctors were put under observation after they complained about respiratory problems. One of them works at the Sri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital, the other is at premiere Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).

During the current situation, doctors across different hospitals in Kashmir valley lamented about the lack of adequate arrangements in the hospitals.

A doctor from SMHS Srinagar said that there is lack of medical facilities, mainly N95 masks, PVC coated gowns and goggles.

With medical staff already getting sick and dying from the disease globally, doctors in Kashmir said they are dreadful for themselves.

Another doctor from north Kashmir said: “It’s the pretty dreadful to go for work every day without safety gear.”

A nurse at Budgam hospital said: “Without masks, we would be immediately out of work, because we can‘t works unless masks are provided.”

Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) also sent a letter to Baseer Ahmad Khan, the newly appointed advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in which they pointed out that hospitals in Kashmir lacked “proper and adequate personnel protection gear especially N95 Masks, PVC coated gowns, goggles and other equipments.”

 “We appeal your good self to kindly make arrangements to supply protective gear for the doctors, nurses and other paramedical and supportive staff, so that they work without any apprehensions in health facilities,” the letter stated.

The doctors’ body also requested for procurement of adequate ventilators to augment the capacity of district hospitals.

Sources pointed  there are less than 200 ventilators available in Jammu and Kashmir hospitals for a population of 1.20 crore.

“All these ventilators are at presently occupied by patients. If there is requirement of more ventilators, we will be in crisis situation,” sources said.

When contacted a top official said J&K administration has placed orders for 100 more ventilators. “It will take few weeks to procure them,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the J&K administration in an order issued Friday asked government employees to attend office on alternate weeks except those associated with coronavirus-control works.

The government also said Baseer Khan, adviser to LG, will be overall in-charge of coronavirus-related efforts in Kashmir.

Four persons – three in Jammu and one in Srinagar – have so far tested positive for the novel disease, prompting the authorities to impose prohibitory orders on the movement of people in the newly-carved union territory.

“We had a detailed meeting with MoS Jitendra Singh to discuss our preparedness against Coronavirus,” Dr Saima Rashid, who heads the Government Medical College in Srinagar and is the top decision-maker of the chain of associated hospitals in Srinagar was quoted by the national media says. “We highlighted the issue of the shortage of ventilators and Director NHM. We have been promised 40 high-end ventilators by the end of this month.”

Dr Saima also said that the GMC has received 1,00,000 triple-layer masks from JKMSCL and they will be distributed among associated hospitals judiciously. Singh told the meeting that the fight against Coronavirus is a shared responsibility. (KNT)