Long after covid-19 was declared a pandemic by World Health Organisation, doctors in Kashmir are still deprived of standard quality personal protective equipment.
“We too are humans and the system should value our lives. What is the fun of our parents being home-confined, if I carry some virus to my home only because I am not provided a proper preventive kit,” asked Dr Burhan Bazaz- Resident, Emergency, SKIMS.
“This is not the proper preventive gear that we are being provided. We should have proper spectacles, head cap, shoe cover and other accessories of standard quality. It is a matter of life and death,” he said.
Since lot of doctors worldwide have been tested positive for COVID-19, the doctors in Kashmir are worried about their health and the health of their families.
Senior consultant and physician, Dr Abdul Rashid Itoo said the doctors who have been assigned duties in the ward dealing with COVID-19 patients, should be provided proper protective gear.
“Many of us are running the routine OPD; however those dealing with the suspected and positive coronavirus patients should be provided proper gear to ensure that their lives are not at stake,” he said.
Few doctors have started to craft their own protective equipment with the help of foam, plastic bag, elastic band and a tape. Interestingly, a picture of the protective costume was uploaded on social media and the cost in its making was stated to be Rs 40.
“Many people are coming up with homemade protective gears but we are not sure about the authenticity of it. Same is the case with the costumes that few NGOs are preparing,” said a senior doctor.
“We had earlier decided to protest against the unavailability of standard protective gears, however we did not go ahead for the sake of patients. We want to help the people and the administration should consider our demands,” he added.
To deal with covid-19, proper training is being given to the healthcare providers in different centres across India unlike in Kashmir. “There is an urgent need for proper training to the healthcare providers to tackle the COVID-19 crisis across the valley. We require immediate action on such initiatives,” said a doctor from SKIMS.
Many senior doctors have appealed the administration to provide them the proper personal protective equipment. They have urged the authorities to take care of the stocks during such crisis.
“Non availability of PPEs is the core issue we are facing right now. Early procurement of the stocks should also be taken care of,” said a doctor.