NEW DELHI: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, the apex health institute under the central government is witnessing more and more healthcare workers falling prey to the novel coronavirus.
The main complex has been kept away for admission of any Covid19 related cases. Instead the Jai Prakash Narayan Trauma Centre is now a designated hospital for admitting positive patients.
Yet, the increasing number of HCWs getting infected with the virus is a growing concern amongst the doctors and medical staffs of the premier institute. Around 195 healthcare workers have tested positive for at AIIMS till date with over 50 healthcare personnel, including one MBBS student, three resident doctors, eight nurses and five mess workers, have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last two days. Others include laboratory staff, technicians, sanitation staff and security guards.
“It's not the virus that we are worried. It’s the apathy of the Govt 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 safety of hostel premises, poor sanitation, lack or proper quarantine protocol and adequate testing,” Dr Srinivas Rajkumar T, General Secretary, RDA, AIIMS New Delhi.
Another medical staff who is associated with the cancer department of the AIIMS where five HCWs also found to be positive added that owing to narrow passages and closed structure, there is difficulty in maintaining physical distancing.
“Firstly the administration should reduce staffs coming on duty those who have fewer roles to play such as the guards or clerks. Since now there is only selective surgeries happening and no rush, things can be managed. Because having more cases will put both patient and doctors at more risk,” added the staff.
Another issue that has been persistently demanded by the HCWs of AIIMS is good quality of of N95 masks and other components of PPE kits which have not been addressed.
The N95 masks does not meet even MOHFW safety standards forget international standards. Our relentless pursuit of resident welfare has been met with threats of FIR from administration and attempts to jeopardise the career of RDA executives by administration,” added Dr Srinivas.
One of the AIIMS' sanitation supervisors, who had tested positive for COVID-19, died on Sunday, while a mess worker at the AIIMS had succumbed to the disease last week.