Coronavirus in India: Medical staff protests in Bengal, say low-quality protection equipment given to them

Coronavirus in India: Medical staff protests in Bengal, say low-quality protection equipment given to them

The medical staff in various hospitals in West Bengal have taken to the streets to protest, alleging that they need been supplied low-quality Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) against coronavirus. Protests were reported in hospitals in districts of North Bengal and Howrah.

At Howrah General Hospital, nurses and doctors protested ahead of the hospital superintendent's office, demanding PPE and other medical facilities like sanitizers for the treatment of coronavirus-affected patients.

"The hospital doesn't have a correct supply of PPE, handwashing and sanitising facilities. In spite of the supply of 30 beds for coronavirus patients, the patients admitted with breathing problems aren't being transferred into the isolation room, and are kept within the general ward instead. this might pose a threat to all or any folks ," one among the protesting nurses said.

Similar agitations also happened in Siliguri's North Bengal Medical College where the hospital nurses are protesting against the shortage of medical facilities and PPE after the death of a coronavirus-infected patient.

Till last week, protests happened at the Kolkata Medical College where doctors and nurses expressed their discontentment over the unavailability of PPE.

"Any patient infected with diseases like coronavirus, H1N1, swine flu, chickenpox need to be kept during a specially-designed negative pressure isolation room, where the pressure should be minimum -2.5 Pa. Such an area requires a change of air quite 12 times per hour so on remove the contaminated air through 0.3 micron Hepafilter," Krishnendu Bose, head , of Engineering of Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, told India Today TV.

"It is vital for all the medical staff working within the isolation wards to wear a PPE which consists of a special sort of goggles, N95 masks, caps, shoe cover, gloves, and a specially designed uniform," he said.

"The absence of which can end in the spread of coronavirus thereby posing threat to the lives of the many including the doctors, nurses, and staff. The PPE has got to be designed in such how in order that it doesn't have any defects in it. the whole body of the staff has got to be covered thus."

Reacting to the protests, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen, also the immediate past national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, "Not all the doctors and nurses are agitating. there have been only a couple of nurses who were agitating earlier. But now no agitation has been reported in ID hospital."

"All the doctors and nurses do their best for mankind. False information is being circulated on social media. each day before yesterday, I met our Health Secretary Vivek Kumar. On behalf of the Indian Medical Association, we handed over 25,000 Hydroxychloroquine 400mg tablets," he said.

Santanu Sen further said, "There, we particularly raised the difficulty with PPE materials. it's been explained that these PPE materials are usually made from two types. Both are approved by our expert committee of the health department."