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Faulty oxygen masks, scarce equipment: Covid wards of Tiruvannamalai's govt hospital in shambles 

Even as patients are left to suffer, the doctors claim that they are not being provided with an adequate number of safety gears to accommodation during duty or self-quarantine. 

Published: 20th May 2021 12:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2021 12:22 PM   |  A+A-

Patients and attenders stand in a queue without caring for social distancing norms, personal safety at Govt Tiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital

Patients and attenders stand in a queue without caring for social distancing norms, personal safety at Govt Tiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

Express News Service

TIRUVANNAMALAI: The Covid wards at the Government Tiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital (GTMCH) are left in a mess thanks to a shortage of equipment and safety gears. Sources informed that the shortage of oxygen-related machinery like masks and flow meters has forced the doctors to provide the life-saving gas by dividing the tubes to two patients at the same time. 

When asked, Dean of GTMCH Dr Thirumal Babu said, “Providing oxygen for two patients alternately is done usually when the patients concerned require low volume of oxygen. We have been trying to purchase oxygen masks and flow meters but it is hard to get enough supply. We have sourced flow meters today.” He informed that 60 oxygen supported beds were added to existing 400 beds on Tuesday and another 90 will be added shortly.

Even the oxygen face masks at this facility are faulty. "The tube attaching the face mask have holes in it. The oxygen is gushing out and as a result, there is not enough gas for the patients," a source said. 

Defunct oxygen flow meters is another cause of concern not just for the patients but also for on-duty doctors.

Even as patients are left to suffer, the doctors claim that they are not being provided with an adequate number of safety gears to accommodation during duty or self-quarantine. 

“We are not provided with enough N95 masks or even head caps,” rued an assistant professor who has been on covid duty.

A section of doctors on covid duty alleged that assistant professors attached only to general medicine are made to work in frequent turns, while those from other departments are spared. 

An assistant professor recalls that this bias in fixing covid duty was raised last year also but was hushed up without any solution. 

Recently, 116 MBBS students, who completed their final year examinations, were recruited for emergency covid duty but only half of them were allegedly deputed while the others were sent for other duties.

As far as pandemic norms and protocol observance is concerned, the attenders of patients have a free run into all the wards and pharmacy without caring for safety of the patients or social distancing norms. People roam around even without wearing face masks, sources noted.



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