Two female resident doctors in Kashmir were put under observation at hospitals after they developed Covid-19 symptoms. They complained of respiratory distress, fever and runny nose, reported The Tribune.
According to a report published by The Tribune, the two doctors, who did not have proper protective gear, are believed to have been exposed to the infection after getting in touch with patients.
“One of the doctors is a resident at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, and another is a resident at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital,” said the report.
“The two doctors continue to be under observation of the hospital authorities,” The Tribune quoted a health official privy to both cases as having said.
Doctors in Kashmir say they are being put at risk during the coronavirus outbreak because of the lack of protective gear.
“The government is using us as cannon fodder in its combat against Covid-19 because we don’t have access to protective gear,” said a doctor at Government Medical College in Srinagar, reported The Tribune.
Six associated hospitals of Government Medical College, Srinagar, which offer critical care health services in Kashmir, are facing a shortage of masks and protective gear as no medical gear was procured in the past six months.
“We use surgical masks and gowns and we have to share them with other doctors. We do not have eye gear or headcover. Imagine, one of the doctors had to use a shoe cover on his head,” said a female resident doctor at the GMC.
She said the lack of proper masks, gowns and eye gear was jeopardising their ability to fight the virus.
Officials at the GMC said, “We are facing a situation where a mask worth Rs 2 is now being sold at Rs 18 in the market. Had we procured them on time, we would not have been in this situation. In an exigency plan, we are procuring the masks and protective gears but there is a shortage of them in the market now.”
A senior doctor at SKIMS said masks and protective gear had been made available to them since Thursday evening but were not being provided to all healthcare professionals.
“We want to give our best in this crisis situation. We want to look after our patients but the lack of protective gear puts us and our patients at risk,” newspaper The Tribune quoted a senior doctor as having said.