June 28, 2020
The nursing staff of two districts of the state have written to the Deputy Commissioners demanding conducive working environment to fight COVID-19 pandemic. The nurses’ federation of Una and Kangra in a letter state that violation of protocols as laid by MOHW is being noticed in the hospitals of the district(s). They allege that as per guidelines any health worker who is exposed to any corona positive patient should be QUARANTINE for a period of 14 days. However due to mismanagement these protocols are not getting followed by the government as well as private hospital in the state of Himachal Pradesh, they add. “It’s a threat to the life of these health Warriors because they are humiliated and working under a tremendous pressure to serve their duties without proper QUARANTINE.”
Irregularity in staff quarantine protocol
Pointing serious irregularity, in health staff quarantine protocol nurses allege that High risk exposure health workers should be subjected to 14 days quarantine after completion of duty. Wherein after 7 days of quarantine, a test of the health workers should be done, and thereafter the remaining 7 days of quarantine period should be completed. “Moreover it is pertinent, as irregularity here could become detrimental to families of health workers as well as the community at large. And if quarantine protocols are not adhered, then could pose risk to society at large.
Duty deployment not being done in advance
Nurses allege that they are under serious distress due to recent decision and deployment of nurses staff in COVID-19 care duties. They add that recent orders for COVID-19 care duties are being issued just a few hours before deployment. “As one is aware that a staff members who has undergo COVID-19 care duties, has to be quarantined for a period of 15 days thereafter. However here, the duties are being notified just few hours before deployment. “Which is stressing,” add the nurses. “As even nurses have families to support, and it becomes difficult to get ready for a 15 day out of home, on a notice of few hours. “Therefore it is requested that such duties should be intimated well in time, so that one can prepare for relocation of family, to be safe,” they add.
Impartial deployment on duty missing
Also these nurses alleged that impartial deployment on duty is not being done in the district. Wherein favorite staff of the administration(s) is being kept away from high risk duties, they allege. Quoting a case of Seema Thakur a nurse in Kangra, who after giving duty among COVID positive, was called back to work mid way of here quarantine period i.e after 7 days. Whereas many staff members are not even deployed on such high exposure duties.
In order to be better prepared for pandemic the health staff needs to be in better physical and mental state. However such irregularities do not offer a conducive environment for the same, concluded the nurses.