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Covid-19 safety gear dumped on road

The hospital authorities have informed the director of medical education about the incident
A health worker picks the PPEs dumped on the road near the quarantine centre on Sunday.

Snehamoy Chakraborty   |   Rampurhat   |   Published 19.04.20, 08:24 PM

Five doctors from Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital allegedly removed their personal protective equipments (PPEs) and dumped the same on road in a fit of rage and abandoned several patients at a quarantine centre on Sunday.

The doctors allegedly flouted World Health Organisation protocol for health workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic to protest against absence of an air-conditioned room to work in.

The hospital authorities have informed the director of medical education about the incident.

Sources said the five young doctors from the RMCH had been deployed at a quarantine centre in a hotel near Tarapith to conduct check-up on 65 migrant labourers.

“It was totally unscientific and against the protocol of Covid-19 to dump a used PPE on the road. I have already informed the director of medical education, who asked me to report in writing. I will send the report soon seeking action against the doctors,” said Sujoy Mistri, the medical superintendent and vice principal of RMCH.

“AC rooms are not used for persons suspected to have Covid-19 as it can spread the infection further. Moreover, the doctors should have known better that used PPEs cannot be thrown into the open,” Mistri added.

Medical experts said according to the WHO protocol, it was mandatory to dispose of PPEs in a specific container or burn them immediately.

Sources said the five doctors had not brought their own notepads with them at the start of the day and had to borrow the same from police. “After a while, one of the doctors said it was too hot for him to work there,” said a source.

“We tried to convince them to stay, but they left the quarantine centre in a fit saying they would not work here and dumped the PPEs on the road in front of subdivisional officer Sweta Agrawal. She had reached there to reason with them,” said a senior police officer who was present.

Officials said the SDO had seen the doctors dumping the PPEs on the road and asked them to have a conversation before leaving. “They refused and left in their own vehicle,” the officer added.

SDPO (Rampurhat) Sowmojit Barua was also present. “The SDO then called a senior RMCH official to ask the doctors to be sent back, but when they returned three hours later, they misbehaved with the SDO,” said a senior official.

Eventually, the SDO asked health officials for a different team of doctors to complete the patients’ treatment.

The accused doctors denied the allegation and said they had left the quarantine centre as there were no patients for check-up and had dumped their PPEs at the the directive of a police officer deployed there. “We did not dispose of the PPEs on the road, but put them at a specific spot outside,” said one of the doctors.

The police denied the doctors’ claim, saying they couldn’t give such a directive to a medical practitioner.

“No police officer told the doctors to dispose of PPEs on the road. It is ridiculous if a doctor actually listened to a police officer on the protocol of disposing PPEs,” said a police officer, adding there was proper arrangement for disposal of PPEs at the centre, where 189 patients had gone through thorough check-ups on Saturday.

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