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Coronavirus Pandemic: Claps, Candles and Diya But No PPE And Masks for The Doctors.

Over 7000 people have reported positive in the last few days since the onset of this pandemic in our country. The rate is less than that of developed nations. Ever wondered who is controlling this? Who is helping the ill? The doctors, the fighters who are constantly battling on the forefront without any security for their own life. 

Good doctors understand responsibility better than privilege and practice accountability better than any business.

But unfortunately, in our motherland they are being treated in a very ill manner. They are sacrificing their own lives in order to save ours. Doctors from AIIMS Bhopal have lodged a complaint against the policemen. It was found out that when the doctors were going back home after their shift, the policemen allegedly beat them with bamboo sticks. The doctors showed the police their ID Cards but despite of this, they were being beaten up and verbally abused by the same.

A senior doctor from Narsipatnam Area in Andhra Pradesh was suspended by the state government after a video where he had alleged a shortage of protective gear for the medical personnel went viral.

In Delhi, a 42-year-old man has been arrested for troubling two doctors of Safdarjung Hospital. The man accused them for spreading coronavirus and assaulted them. The two doctors, posted in the Emergency department of the hospital, were not dealing with COVID-19 patients.

According to reports, India stands at 144th level in the healthcare sector. It has been the same since a very long time. In India, around 50 doctors and medical staff have tested positive for coronavirus, raising the eyebrows of the Union Health Ministry. The Health Ministry is trying to assess the situation and ascertain whether these doctors and medical staff have been infected by Covid-19 positive patients. There is lack of protective gear for these officials which might be the major reason of spreading the virus amongst the doctors.

How can we expect them to work for us when we don’t cooperate with them and treat them with utmost respect? Our healthcare workers are crumbling under the constant pressure from the government and the daily rise in the causalities. During times like these, people who have minor ailments are told to find a fix for them at home so that the already strained workforce does not get any more unwanted pressure.  

The nursing staff at Jhansi Medical College in Uttar Pradesh is in total distress. They haven’t been given their salaries since the past seven months and the shocking part is that they are being denied for the same, reason being lack of budget allocation. They are bound legally to fulfil their duty in the same hospital and they can not work elsewhere. The doctors working in the isolation wards have not been given PPE kits and are expected to work full time shifts without the basic equipment. “Indian manufacturers were urging the government to stock up materials since early February, and to impose anti-profiteering measures. Yet the by the time an order was received, the price of the components required to make ply masks had gone up “from 250 per kg to 3,000 per kg,” Sanjiiiv Relhan, the chairman of the Preventive Wear Manufacturer Association of India, told upon being questioned.

Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Sewagram, in rural Maharashtra, was notified that it would be the nodal centre for the treatment of COVID-19 in the region. The hospital was unprepared for the same, it just had two ICU beds and a dearth of protective equipment. During these desperate times, raincoats and protective gear made by cloth is being used.

All these issues are coming together and demolishing the already poor healthcare system in India. India does not fall under the correct healthcare measures which are given by WHO. WHO states that there must be at least three allopathic doctors per thousand whereas India has only 1.7 medical staff per thousand.

Apart from the obvious and direct issues which are being faced by the doctors in India, there exists another stigma which is coming forward. Doctors have been asked to vacate their rented homes because they are identified as vectors of the pandemic. Is all this really justified? During these tough times, we the people, must come forward and help those who are helping us, those who are protecting us.

No amount of claps and “bartan bajana” will lead to development in the healthcare system.

A doctor commented, “We are following all safety protocols. We are not meeting even our families and that is stressful. But seeing this open discrimination just breaks my heart. But we will go on because there is really no other option.”

Several healthcare workers in India have been attacked as they battle to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Sources have also claimed that abusive language was used with female nurses while they were treating the ill. One video, which has gone viral, showed a mob throwing stones at two female doctors wearing personal protective equipment in the central city of Indore. The doctors had gone to a densely-populated area to check on a woman suspected of having Covid-19 when they came under attack. Some attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat event who are being held in a quarantine facility run by the railways are said to have spat at doctors and misbehaved.

After all these issues, there exists a lot of mental tension amongst the doctors. They are being targeted by the society. People are treating them in an unfair manner because of being afraid of them. Doctors live under the constant fear of being a threat to their own family. There are instances where doctors are sleeping in their cars to protect their loved ones. There have been cases when the patient’s family is trying to backlash the doctors due to the mental breakdown they are going through.

After this pandemic, when the whole world will be at ease and will be moving forward with their lives, doctors might need PTSD treatment. The already strained workforce is under a lot of pressure and they might collapse any time if proper facilities are not given to them.

 

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