Covid-positive SKIMS warriors struggle for beds

Srinagar , 12 August: With the increasing number of healthcare personnel testing positive for Covid-19, the SKIMS appears to fault on providing required medical assistance, including beds, to its staff members who got infected while discharging their duties.
According to sources, one senior faculty member who needed to be admitted after having tested positive few days ago, had to struggle for a bed in the state’s so-called premier medical institute.
This happened despite repeated requests by faculty members and other employees to the SKIMS Director to reserve some beds for the staff, the sources added.
The director had earlier dismissed the possibility of health workers getting infected at SKIMS and also claimed in a TV interview that no hospital staff had acquired the infection.
He had also claimed to have ordered an investigation into a case where one senior head of the department had tested positive.
However, the increasing numbers have debunked his claim, the sources said.
W number of senior as well as junior faculty members, nurses, paramedics, and technicians have tested positive after getting infected in the hospital. At least three heads of departments have tested positive and have required close observation.
The non-availability of a dedicated place has triggered strong resentment among the hospital staff.
“Seven months on, SKIMis still unprepared even for taking care of its own frontline workers who risk their lives ro manage the patients and the administration turns their back towards them, is least bothered about their requirements or of their families back home,” said a staff member on the condition of anonymity.
He said the staff has regularly complained of the quality and quantity of PPEs.
“This has forced SKIMS change its admission policy from earlier one of admitting even level 1 and 2 patients,” said another staff member also refusing to be named.
As per the data available, the rate of positivity of healthcare workers in SMHS, CD, JVC and other hospitals is much lower than SKIMS.
In these hospitals, sufficient number of beds fitted with oxygen as well as two side rooms provided with oxygen concentrators are marked for staff.
In SKIMS, two doctors have already lost their lives due to Covid-19, the latest being Dr Ashraf Mir from Pampore.
“Is this how we treat our front line warriors?” a senior faculty member at SKIMS asked.
“The administration should be ashamed of its handling of crisis but in this God-forsaken place of policital turmoil, no one seems to take note and these matters seem small compared to far bigger issues confronting the UT, ” he added.
Another faculty member said the rise in the numbers has instilled a sense of fear among the hosiptal staff members who are concerned about their own lives and those of their loved ones. ‘Time may not be far when we have no one ready to take care of the Covid cases in SKIMS. But does anyone care?” he asked.