Just 400 protection gears for doctors at GMC Anantnag

Situation in other south Kashmir hospitals 'worse'
Just 400 protection gears for doctors at GMC Anantnag
Representational Photo

The Government Medical College (GMC), Anantnag has barely 400 protection gears and 400 N-95 masks to fight coronavirus infection.

An official said the hospital had placed an order forprocuring 10,000 personal protection gears, but we received just 400.

"We had also ordered procurement of 10,000 N-95 masks butgot only 400 masks," he said, adding they have received just 500 sanitizersagainst 1,000 ordered.

The doctors and paramedics working in emergency and casualtywards of the hospital can be seen working without personal protection equipmentand N-95 masks.

It doesn't only make them vulnerable to the infection butalso increases chances of cross-infection.

"We have only been provided disposable gowns and fewthree-layer masks," said a doctor wishing anonymity.

He said the protection gears and N-95 masks have beenprovided to the doctors in isolation facility only. 

"How does it make sense when there is already an outbreak ofcoronavirus," said the doctor.

Another doctor said even the stock meant for the staff, whotake samples of suspected patients in isolation facility and microbiologylaboratory, was fast running short.

He warned against "misuse" of N-95 masks, saying it willlead to further crisis in the coming days.

"Only doctors and paramedics need it for now and not thegovernment officials," the doctor said.

Principal GMC Dr Showkat Jeelani acknowledged deficiency ofprotection gears and safety equipment for medicos.

"We had ordered for more PPEs and N-95 masks but haven'treceived the stock so far," he said.

Dr Jeelani, however, said they had ample three-layer masksand gloves.

"We had placed the order for 5,000 three-layer masks againstwhich we received around 3,000 so far," he said.

The situation in other major south Kashmir districthospitals of Kulgam, Pulwama, and Shopian is equally bad.

"We have only a few PPEs and N-95 masks," said a doctor atPulwama district hospital.

The doctors working in almost all sub-district hospitals andPrimary Health centers (PHCs) said they have not been provided a single PPE orN-95 mask so far.

"Only a few odd sanitizers, gloves and three-layer masks areat our disposal," said a doctor working in Damhal-Hanjipora sub-district hospitalof Kulgam.

He said initially the doctors and paramedics purchased thesanitizers and simple masks from the market but now there shortage in themarket.

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