Kashmir Indepth

Sopore nurse tests positive sparks fear among medical fraternity


Srinagar, April 08 (KINS): A day after a nurse tested positive for coronavirus, a fear has created among the medical fraternity in Kashmir.

A nurse from Sopore Baramulla who is working at JVC Bemina tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.  An official said the 35-year-old nurse from Teliyaan Mohalla Sopore was home quarantined for 18 days.  The official said her whole family has been taken to hospital for quarantine.

This was the first case in Kashmir when a staff member of any hospital was tested positive. This has created a fear among the medical fraternity who have to work without proper protection gear.

“We have been saying for last several weeks both doctors, nurses treating COVID-19 patients are not safe. We don’t have proper protective gear,” a nurse at Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar told Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

Another nurse from JVC Bemina said they live under constant fear. “Since Tuesday when it came to fore that nurse has been tested positive for coronavirus, our families are worried that we might get infected. There is fear among medical staff. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics are susceptible to catch virus in absence of personal protective equipment (PPE),” the nurse told KINS.

He said several doctors have been quarantined after coming in contact with coronavirus patients as former were not wearing proper protective gear.

Several doctors and nurses of various hospitals who had seen a coronavirus patient from Hyderpora Srinagar were quarantined.  The patient who later died had also visited JVC Bemina where according to sources might had come in contact with the said nurse. 

A doctor at Shar-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura said doctors and nurses were fighting the coronavirus at the forefront.

“We are reluctant to treat coronavirus suspect patients in absence of protective gear as we too fear for our lives. If government does not provide doctors protective gear, we will lose doctors before patients,” he told KINS.

Kashmir Nurses Association in a statement said, “In every situation we work among the forefront but unfortunately government has never gravitated a grain of attention towards our prestige profession.  We work in grave risk and ironically we have been deprived of equipments to lessen the odds of the consequences that the risk can toll on us.”

The statement further reads, “We no longer request but demand the basic tools that can weigh our chances of staying well and safe heavier.  So we all can treat and help those effected and be in good health enough to go back home unaffected.”

A doctor working at a hospital in Baramulla in north Kashmir said the situation was scary for doctors and nurses. “Now doctors feel cough, cold fever is COVID 19 and are hesitant to see such patients. Doctors feel helpless. Only PPE will boost doctors’ confidence to deliver,” he said.

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