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Delhi: Outcry over lack of protective gear as 7 doctors test positive for Covid-19

In North MCD-ruled Hindu Rao hospital, many healthcare workers offered to resign citing lack of PPEs as a reason. According to senior doctors, the hospital received 10-12 resignations over the last few days.

Written by Astha Saxena , Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Updated: April 2, 2020 8:52:00 am
Resident doctors across the city have already raised concerns over the lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) and proper protocol to be followed while dealing with COVID-19 patients in several government hospitals in Delhi. (Chinatopix via AP)

Amid the coronavirus epidemic, seven doctors working in different hospitals and clinics in the capital have tested positive for the disease so far. In the list are two resident doctors at Safdarjung hospital, one each in Delhi State Cancer Institute (DSCI) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chest hospital (SVBPCH), two mohalla clinic doctors and a doctor working in a private clinic.

Resident doctors across the city have already raised concerns over the lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) and proper protocol to be followed while dealing with COVID-19 patients in several government hospitals in Delhi.
In North MCD-ruled Hindu Rao hospital, many healthcare workers offered to resign citing lack of PPEs as a reason. According to senior doctors, the hospital received 10-12 resignations over the last few days. “Additionally, several doctors said they don’t want to get their contracts renewed,” said a senior doctor.

The hospital, however, issued a circular Wednesday saying that none of the resignations will be accepted by the administration during the outbreak. “Their resignations will not be accepted and their names will be sent to the DMC Office Nursing Council of India to take disciplinary action against them,” read the order.

However, North MCD Commissioner Varsha Joshi tweeted, “This order was issued against directions of DHA
(Director, Hospital Administration) and without the knowledge of Additional Commissioner and Commissioner. Disciplinary action will be taken for this disobedience. From my side, any unwilling worker is more than welcome to resign. Especially in a pandemic.”

Meanwhile, a 32-year-old doctor working in the department of pediatrics in Delhi government’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel hospital tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, days after his wife, a resident doctor in the department of biochemistry, tested positive. The couple, residents of South Delhi, had travelled to the UK in the first week of March.

On Tuesday night, a 34-year-old resident doctor working in the department of preventive oncology at DSCI tested positive for Covid-19. The doctor had last visited the hospital on March 21. On Wednesday, the hospital shut down its OPD for sanitisation. “We are preparing a list of all the contacts, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who might have come in contact with the doctor. His brother and sister-in-law had come from Europe last month and we are trying to establish the links. He has been shifted to Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital for treatment. His family members have been admitted to Lok Nayak hospital,” said Dr BL Sherwal, director of the DSCI.

At Safdarjung hospital, a 26-year-old doctor from the department of pulmonary medicine tested positive for the disease. The administration has quarantined 21 healthcare workers — including doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff — who came in contact with the doctor.

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