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Doctors need more protective gear now, before COVID-19 cases explode

AIIMS doctors on alert for shortage in supplies of essentials like face masks and gloves

Karuna John 23 Mar 2020

Naina Tai

Doctors and nurses at the country's flagship All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are closely monitoring the supply of Protective Equipment (PPE) available to them as they prepare to take care COVID19 patients. As cases suspected of CoronaVirus-19 infection may increase in the following week, with increased testing, the staff at AIIMS does not want to be caught in a situation where the run out of essential protective gear that includes facemasks, eye shields, gloves, gowns and shoe covers if there is a deluge of patients in the coming weeks.

The resident Doctors Association of AIIMS had flagged this issue weeks ago and continues to monitor the daily supply carefully. “We flagged this ahead and want to prepare. We are making efforts before any shortage arises. This is the case nationwide. There are shortages even in developed countries,” We are putting pressure on all stakeholders,” said Dr Srinivas, general secretary, Resident Doctors Association (RDA) at AIIMS.

According to the resident doctors they are also buying masks and sanitizers to use when they are commuting to work, or are taking care of patients in the Outpatient Departments (OPDs). A doctor said that many are doing this voluntarily to prevent any cross contamination. Doctors posted in critical care units have access to the hospital supply of PPE but not those working in the OPD. “When we commute to and fro from work, we have to be extra careful. Many of us are buying our own masks to use at this time when we are outside the wards.” said a nurse.

According to Dr Srinivas, the AIIMS RDA should be seen as a stakeholder in this effort to combat the pandemic. The association is also making efforts to raise funds, and encourage public sector undertakings (PSUs) and corporates to pitch in with funds as well. “Many are stepping up. We will send updates soon,” said Dr Srinivas. 

The maximum retail price (MRP) capping on sanitisers masks and other PPE has already been breached even though the government has issued strict warnings against doing so. In the market a Rs 10 mask is selling for many times the price, most chemists have simply said they have run out of stock and only have the more expensive masks. 

“The price breach is a problem for the administration too. We do not have so many cases yet, and AIIMS is not overwhelmed yet, but we need to be well prepared in advance,” asserted Dr Srinivas. The hospital will get over 20,000 masks today, but still needs lakhs more.

Dr Adarsh Pratap Singh, President of RDA had raised the issue of inadequacy in his letter to the Director, Dr Randeep Guleria. After inspecting various wards, the Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) had written to Director Randeep Guleria on March 16, updating him about inadequate PPEs available to their colleagues. “A team of RDA executives inspected various wards to check the supply of PPE in the critical time of COVID19 and sadly most of the wards do not have adequate universal precautionary components. We request the administration to take prompt action to ensure PPE availability around the clock for the safety of doctors and nurses," they wrote. 

The letter may be viewed here: 

dr

 

According to AIIMS doctors, they want to be well prepared so no one is exposed while meeting, and caring for suspected COVID-19 cases. Many doctors and nurses have been buying their own stock of masks and sanitisers as well. 

Business Standard reports that doctors of the microbiology department have made hand sanitisers and face shields (masks) in their laboratory to combat shortfall. Dr Purva Mathur, professor of laboratory medicine and the incharge of infection control department at AIIMS, Delhi has taken this initiative after holding a discussion with the hospital administration. "At AIIMS, we cannot take any chance. PPE has been provided by the administration, but these are not enough. So, we have to make other suitable alternatives. Apart from makeshift plastic face masks which can cover the entire face, we have also prepared alcohol-based hand sanitizers as per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). And it is always good to be fully prepared," a senior doctor from the department of infection control told Business Standard. 


The doctors do not want mere applause but need real time action to ensure the situation does not get to a level when the healthcare givers themselves become infected with Covid-19. The RDA is yet to get an official response to their letter, but says it is important to monitor and raise the issue regularly. 

Related:

Lives of the 'haves' and 'have-nots' in the times of Corona

Covid-19 Update: Delhi under lockdown, Mumbai lockdown extended

Covid-19: West Bengal goes under lockdown from 5 PM today

Covid-19: Maha Labour Commissioner forbids organisations from firing, reducing wages of workers 

 

Doctors need more protective gear now, before COVID-19 cases explode

AIIMS doctors on alert for shortage in supplies of essentials like face masks and gloves

Naina Tai

Doctors and nurses at the country's flagship All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are closely monitoring the supply of Protective Equipment (PPE) available to them as they prepare to take care COVID19 patients. As cases suspected of CoronaVirus-19 infection may increase in the following week, with increased testing, the staff at AIIMS does not want to be caught in a situation where the run out of essential protective gear that includes facemasks, eye shields, gloves, gowns and shoe covers if there is a deluge of patients in the coming weeks.

The resident Doctors Association of AIIMS had flagged this issue weeks ago and continues to monitor the daily supply carefully. “We flagged this ahead and want to prepare. We are making efforts before any shortage arises. This is the case nationwide. There are shortages even in developed countries,” We are putting pressure on all stakeholders,” said Dr Srinivas, general secretary, Resident Doctors Association (RDA) at AIIMS.

According to the resident doctors they are also buying masks and sanitizers to use when they are commuting to work, or are taking care of patients in the Outpatient Departments (OPDs). A doctor said that many are doing this voluntarily to prevent any cross contamination. Doctors posted in critical care units have access to the hospital supply of PPE but not those working in the OPD. “When we commute to and fro from work, we have to be extra careful. Many of us are buying our own masks to use at this time when we are outside the wards.” said a nurse.

According to Dr Srinivas, the AIIMS RDA should be seen as a stakeholder in this effort to combat the pandemic. The association is also making efforts to raise funds, and encourage public sector undertakings (PSUs) and corporates to pitch in with funds as well. “Many are stepping up. We will send updates soon,” said Dr Srinivas. 

The maximum retail price (MRP) capping on sanitisers masks and other PPE has already been breached even though the government has issued strict warnings against doing so. In the market a Rs 10 mask is selling for many times the price, most chemists have simply said they have run out of stock and only have the more expensive masks. 

“The price breach is a problem for the administration too. We do not have so many cases yet, and AIIMS is not overwhelmed yet, but we need to be well prepared in advance,” asserted Dr Srinivas. The hospital will get over 20,000 masks today, but still needs lakhs more.

Dr Adarsh Pratap Singh, President of RDA had raised the issue of inadequacy in his letter to the Director, Dr Randeep Guleria. After inspecting various wards, the Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) had written to Director Randeep Guleria on March 16, updating him about inadequate PPEs available to their colleagues. “A team of RDA executives inspected various wards to check the supply of PPE in the critical time of COVID19 and sadly most of the wards do not have adequate universal precautionary components. We request the administration to take prompt action to ensure PPE availability around the clock for the safety of doctors and nurses," they wrote. 

The letter may be viewed here: 

dr

 

According to AIIMS doctors, they want to be well prepared so no one is exposed while meeting, and caring for suspected COVID-19 cases. Many doctors and nurses have been buying their own stock of masks and sanitisers as well. 

Business Standard reports that doctors of the microbiology department have made hand sanitisers and face shields (masks) in their laboratory to combat shortfall. Dr Purva Mathur, professor of laboratory medicine and the incharge of infection control department at AIIMS, Delhi has taken this initiative after holding a discussion with the hospital administration. "At AIIMS, we cannot take any chance. PPE has been provided by the administration, but these are not enough. So, we have to make other suitable alternatives. Apart from makeshift plastic face masks which can cover the entire face, we have also prepared alcohol-based hand sanitizers as per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). And it is always good to be fully prepared," a senior doctor from the department of infection control told Business Standard. 


The doctors do not want mere applause but need real time action to ensure the situation does not get to a level when the healthcare givers themselves become infected with Covid-19. The RDA is yet to get an official response to their letter, but says it is important to monitor and raise the issue regularly. 

Related:

Lives of the 'haves' and 'have-nots' in the times of Corona

Covid-19 Update: Delhi under lockdown, Mumbai lockdown extended

Covid-19: West Bengal goes under lockdown from 5 PM today

Covid-19: Maha Labour Commissioner forbids organisations from firing, reducing wages of workers 

 

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