Monday, 30th October 2017

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Civic body plagued by protective gear lack

I have requested Swasthya Bhavan officials to send at least five PPE suits to the civic body: mayor

By A staff reporter
  • Published 27.03.20, 12:10 AM
  • Updated 27.03.20, 12:10 AM
  • a min read
A health worker sprays disinfectants on a hospital bed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in Calcutta, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. File picture

The Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation does not have a single personal protective equipment (PPE) suit for its health workers to equip them to tend to patients with Covid-19.

The situation came to light when the drivers of the civic-body owned hearse asked for protective gear when they were asked to transport the body of the 57-year-old Covid-19 patient who died at a Salt Lake private hospital.

According a civic body official, they do not have a single protection suit. On Monday, after the man’s death, a hearse could not be found initially as private service providers refused to carry the body of a Covid-19 patient, the hospital said in a statement.

According to the hospital where the man died, the authorised family member did not go to the establishment to witness the handover of the body to the state health department. The health department had to take possession of the body as all the immediate family members are in isolation. In the absence of a private hearse, the health department requested the corporation to send a hearse operated by them.

“The drivers and the others accompanying him demanded protective gear as they were scared that they would contract the virus. We somehow managed to convince them and gave them what we could, including masks and hand gloves,” a civic body official said.

Krishna Chakraborty, the mayor of the corporation, said that she was aware of the situation.

"This is an unprecedented situation. I have requested Swasthya Bhavan officials to send at least five PPE suits to the civic body,” said Chakraborty.

According to her, the corporation is also facing a scarcity of gloves and masks. “We are trying to get more masks and gloves on a war-footing,” said Chakraborty. 

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