Coronavirus: Docs, paramedics crave for protective gear

Working in taxing conditions, doctors need a safe working space in Kashmir
File Photo | Credit: Zahid Chaat

SRINAGAR — Amid Coronavirus scare, doctors and paramedics in Kashmir fear for their safety while craving for protective gear to treat patients.

Doctors and paramedics in Kashmir are susceptible to catch the virus and infections in absence of protective gear.

Medical staff including doctors, nurses and lab technicians say they fear for their safety and don’t want to serve in wards where patients with Coronavirus-symptoms are lodged.

“We do not have the required protective equipment. We just wear a surgical mask, normal gloves and surgical gown and a cap,” a senior doctor at SKIMS Soura said.

A doctor at SMHS Hospital Srinagar said authorities have failed to provide protection equipment including masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and gowns to doctors and other medical staff. “We are at the risk of catching the infection. Two female doctors were put under observation in Srinagar hospital after they showed symptoms of Coronavirus as government failed to provide us proper equipment. We are vulnerable to attract infections while treating patients,” he said.

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Doctors have also issued a statement saying that “every patient visiting the hospitals should be viewed as a potential COVID-19 case and rued the dearth of protective infrastructure and sanitizers at hospitals.”

A Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit consists of specialized clothing and devices — disposable masks, gowns, hoods, gloves, shoe covers, face shields and protective goggles — and must be worn by healthcare providers dealing with infectious diseases.

Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has also sent a letter to Baseer Ahmad Khan, the newly appointed Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor 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 equipment.”

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The doctors’ body cautioned the administration that there was a “looming threat that the Coronavirus would engulf the Valley.”

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