'Not Worried About Virus But Govt Apathy': Lack of PPEs Makes AIIMS Heathcare Staff Target for Covid

New Delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi is witnessing more and more HCWs (health care workers) falling prey to the virus.

At India's premier medical institute around 195 HCWs have tested positive so far, including doctors, nurses, mess workers, laboratory staff, technicians, sanitation staff even security guards. In 48 hours alone over 50 staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

AIIMS’ sanitation chief, who had tested positive for Covid-19, died three days ago and a mess worker died last week. Workers in their position are given only gloves and masks, not PPEs.

“It’s not the virus that we are worried about. It’s the apathy of the government and the AIIMS administration that worries us. If this continues, we will be short of HCWs to treat patients. Since March we have been writing and fighting for the safety of hostel premises, poor sanitation, lack of proper quarantine protocol and need for adequate testing,” said Dr Srinivas Rajkumar T, General Secretary, RDA, AIIMS-New Delhi.

Another issue that HCWs of AIIMS have been facing from the beginning of the pandemic is the lack of good quality N95 masks and other components of PPE kits. “The N95 masks do not meet even MOHFW safety standards forget international standards. Our relentless pursuit of resident welfare has been met with threats from administration and attempts to jeopardise the career of RDA executives by the administration,” added Dr Srinivas.

MOHFW guidelines on standard for N95 masks - The shape will not collapse - High fabric efficiency - Good breath-ability, with expiratory valve - Fluid resistance: minimum of 80 mmHg pressure based on ASTM F1862, ISO 22609, or equivalent

Though the N95 masks provided to the doctors fail the MOHFW standards, these pictures were sent to News18.com by a doctor source at AIIMS.

Mask-collage

As the number of coronavirus cases rise in Delhi and the country, our frontline workers continue to fight the battle in fear with substance equipment.