Personal protective equipment has been given only to those working in COVID-19 ward
While doctors and nurses posted in COVID-19 treatment ward of Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital where 38 patients are undergoing treatment have been given personal protective equipment (PPE), those in other wards are discharging their duties without them. They work with trepidation while the hospital waits for supply from the State government.
The PPE – N-95 mask, gloves and coverall – guard the health workers from viral infection to a great extent. “Since the COVID ward is located close to our ward, we asked for the PPE. But due to short supply, we could not get them. Of course those who man that ward should be given priority as they risk their lives while giving treatment to patients afflicted by the serious viral infection. At the same time, doctors and the nurses working in nearby wards should also be given similar protective equipment which will enable them to work without fear and anxiety,” said a senior doctor.
The hospital authorities say they expect fresh arrival of masks and coveralls in a week.
Nurses working in the COVID -19 ward, who work in this high risk zone on a turn basis, say after their turn of seven days of work, they could not go home at once as their family members could get infected by the deadly virus. Hence, they have been asked to stay on the hospital’s home quarantine premises, which is also being used by the CRRIs (Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship).
“Leaving the family for long periods, especially our children under life-threatening conditions, causes stress and mental agony. Moreover, our neighbours stare at our family members with fear and suspicion, despite our home quarantine period et al,” say the nurses.
Another problem for these nurses is that some of the interns who share the ‘home quarantine’ building also have this fear and anxiety. So the hospital administration, in consultation with the Collector, should identify a suitable facility nearby for their safe stay, they say.
PPE must be given to all the 400 nurses working in the hospital.
Nutritious food must be served to them to boost their immunity and protect them from viral infection, the nurses say.
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