J&K RTI Movement Statement on shortage of PPEs endangering health workers in view of COVID-19 emergency in Kashmir

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By KNS on 09/04/2020.

J&K RTI Movement Statement on shortage of PPEs endangering health workers in view of COVID-19 emergency in Kashmir
Srinagar April 9:  Ensure health workers rights and safety: Healthcare workers protection from infection cannot be compromised. The COVID-19 can’t be stopped without protecting healthcare workers first.

A statement issued to, KNS, According to the WHO, “Personal Protection Equipment-PPE is most important in preventing transmission of virus not only in treatment centres but also various other activities, like cleaning, waste management and safe burials and community care related to outbreak.”

J&K RTI Movement appreciates the role of front line Medico’s/workers who are taking up responsibility to combat the COVID-19 and we thank them for all their support in the trying times.

In view of increasing number of positive cases and deaths reported, Dr Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Chair of J&K RTI Movement says “We are deeply concerned, the preparations of J&K Govt are patchy and slow due to inadequate health services, lack of staff and infrastructure and planning. The Global trends vis-à-vis the increasing number of positive cases of health-workers in Jammu and Kashmir are indicative of surging demand of PPEs and shortage of supply. Thus putting the frontline Medico’s/ workers and their families in danger.”

Dr Shaikh adds, We therefore urge the government to provide all necessary technical and operational support to respond to the outbreak, and protection of healthcare workers as the foremost priority. Therefore, there is a need to immediately come up with:

• Necessary financial packages to meet the medical emergency; and ensure dedicated allocation of funds to the health sector in view of COVID-19.
• A segregated component to procure and provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to the health, sanitation and other frontline personnel.
• Supply chain management by having a robust system in place to ensure quality and quantity of PPE kits, testing kits and medicines wherever needed.

J&K RTI Movement firmly believes and suggests that Government must incentivize the healthcare services being provided by the health care workers amid life threatening COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, it is responsibility of the Government to provide:
• Wages of healthcare workers should be paid as per existing norms, with extra hours remunerated and risk allowance covered, especially of doctors and paramedics.
• Special paid leaves in case of COVID-19 related sickness and quarantine to be provided.
• Access to media: to flag the issues and redress gaps in the COVID-19 preparedness.
• Suitable accommodation (Government or private) for doctors and paramedics working on COVID-19 related health issues with food and other logistics covered; so as to prevent their families from danger.

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