No screening even as asymptomatic staffers test +ve for COVID-19 at SSH

Nursing staff observing token strike at SSH Srinagar on Monday. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Nursing staff observing token strike at SSH Srinagar on Monday. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, May 11: As cases that turned out positive for COVID-19 at Super Speciality Hospital (SSH) in Shireen Bagh Srinagar were all asymptomatic, the hospital staff is yet to be screened entirely, putting almost everybody at risk of catching the infection.
The nursing staff of the hospital said that they have been constantly put at risk by the hospital administration earlier also by not providing them with adequate protective gears and now by not screening them even after a spurt in COVID-19 positive cases at the hospital.
So far, at least 11 positive cases have been reported from the hospital. And today, while expressing their apprehensions regarding the spread of the infection at the hospital, the nursing staff of the hospital went on a token strike.
A couple of nurses, while talking to Excelsior said that while all this has been happening, they don’t want to go home and put their family at risk. They said that they want hospital administration to screen each and every staff member.
“Those who have been tested positive were all asymptomatic, even a Medical Officer who literally had no patient contact was also tested positive. This points towards the risk that we are facing because we deal with the patients throughout our duty,” a nursing staffer at the hospital said.
The nurses alleged that the hospital administration and all the concerned officials were jeopardizing the lives of the patients including that of the staff by shifting the cardiology ward to the SHMS.
It is pertinent to mention here, that those who tested positive at SSH include 3 nurses, one doctor, one sweeper, 2 patients and 4 attendants.
The nurses also said that, initially, they were given disposable gowns to use and were told to reuse the N-95 masks for at least two weeks.
While the nurses demanded a separate accommodation, they also said that the entire staff should be screened in order to get a sense of things.
“After a positive case was detected, those from the plastic surgery were referred to Chest diseases, and nothing was done for the rest; now they can at least screen everybody,” said Qulsoom Rasool, a nurse at the hospital.
The nurses also said in the name of sanitization, nothing has been done. There are no disinfectant tunnels installed at the entrance of the hospital.
They also said that the fumigation was carried out on Friday in the presence of patients and attendants. “That was totally useless,” they said.
When contacted, Medical Superintendent SSH Dr Shabir Dar told Excelsior that the apprehensions of the staff are genuine and they will be taken care of.
“I think, we should screen everybody as all the positive cases have been asymptomatic, and regarding the accommodation, the matter has been taken up by the officials with the district administration and something will come out of it,” he said.
He, however, maintained that the hospital has got enough supply of the protective gears and everybody has been provided the same.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here