NEW DELHI: The Quarantine Ward staff at Lok Nayak Hospital, Delhi, is at risk of dying from Covid-19 as protective gear for health workers treating those infected are not available, workers and doctors have complained.
Till date, eight suspected coronavirus patients have been admitted and six more are expected to be shifted from RML Hospital, Delhi, by tonight to the Ward of the hospital.
The staff caring for ill patients admitted in the ward also fear that they could pass the infection on to others after catching it at work because of poor protection. The children's ward is on the third floor of the building.
Hospital staff who are dealing most closely with these patients – A&E medics, specialists, nurses, attendants, electricians, guards and lift men – are most worried.
According to the guidelines, the staff has to wear full PPE, comprising FFP3 masks, visors, surgical gowns and two pairs of gloves each. But all these protective measures are absent here.
A doctor in the hospital, requesting not to be named, says, “There is a high death rate for medical first responders. If they don’t have the protective kit, this increases their risk of death.”
He said, “What we are going to have to use is likely not fit for the purpose. There really needs to be a big effort to ensure masks, hand sanitizers, soap, gloves, gowns for staff are made an absolute priority.”
A attendant in the ward said, “Sadly, even if you raise the matter with the authorities, nothing is done.”
He said, “The food for patients has lack of taste and seldom covered and not to mention – the dogs that are everywhere. The hospital houses more dogs than the sick.”
“We are forced to use sterile gloves for the most basic things such as making up the beds. In extreme circumstances, we are forced to wash and reuse the general gloves in order to preserve the sterile gloves for critical procedures,” said a nurse at the ward.
Dr Ritu Saxena, CMO of the hospital, said, “We are going to place orders for all protective gear requirements. The isolation ward staff will be provided these within two days.”
When asked why the suspected patients in the ward are freely wandering and touching everything in the three story building, Dr Saxena said, "In this situation, we can not put restriction on them."
Regarding the Quarantine Ward, the medical director of the hospital, Dr Kishore Singh, told DTMT to contact Dr Sapna Paul (9873617576) or Dr Naresh Kumar (9953946064) incharge of Covid-19 cases in the hospital.
Dr Paul and Dr Kumar did not respond despite repeated phone calls. They were also not available in their rooms at First Floor of OPD Block for their reaction.
Both officers were located outside Dr Singh's office and said they were not authorised persons for Covid-19 related query. However, the Delhi Government has written their names in the list of designated officers for the Covid-19 related query.