Doctors in various nations have had to deal with the absence of adequate protective equipment as they deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, one group of doctors in Germany posed in the nude for photos to highlight the importance of adequate protective gear.
In a protest called ‘Blanke Bedenken’ or Naked Qualms, members of the group said they felt they were at risk from the disease and said their demands over several months had been ignored. The group shared images of medical professionals saying, “When we run out of what little we have, we look like this.”
The photos showed doctors and other medical professionals covered only by toilet paper rolls, medical charts and other items.
On the group’s website, the message that greets viewers translates in English as: “We are your general practitioners. To be able to treat you safely, we and our team need protective equipment and political support.”
“The nudity should symbolize that we are vulnerable without protection,” said Dr Ruben Bernau, who was quoted as saying on the website.
Another general practitioner Dr Christian Rechtenwald was quoted as saying, “We were inspired by the French doctor Alain Colombié, who took a naked picture in his practice and called it ‘cannon fodder’. A picture says more than a lot of words!”
The doctors said they were trying to highlight the fact that outpatient and general practice were as important as hospital carers, and they should be on par with other frontline workers.
According to a report by The Guardian, “German doctors have repeatedly appealed for more PPE since the arrival of the virus in Germany in late January. German firms that make protective clothing have upped their production capacities but have been unable to meet demand.”
With #blankebedenken, healthcare professionals have been participating in the protest sharing photos of themselves in the nude.
“Due to worldwide rapid rise of Covid-19 infection numbers the demand for medical supplies, such as gloves, breathing masks, protective clothing and ventilators, increased. This led to worldwide supply shortages,” a spokesman for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health told CNN in a statement.
“In cooperation with a German logistics provider the Federal Ministry of Health organizes the distribution of the medical supplies to the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and the federal states. By the end of last week the Federal Ministry of Health had distributed round about 133 million protective masks,” the spokesman added.
According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.6 lakh cases of Covid-19 in Germany, with over 6000 fatalities.
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