A group of German doctors have posed naked in a series of pictures to draw attention towards the shortage of protective clothing and equipment when treating COVID 19 patients, indicating how vulnerable their feel without safety gears.
Calling their protest Blanke Bedenken, which translates to "Naked Qualms," the group said that their repeated requests to the government for providing PPE has gone unheeded. They said this act is to show that in the absence of PPE this is how they are exposed to the coronavirus while treating COVID-19 patients.
'The nudity is a symbol of how vulnerable we are without protection'
"The nudity is a symbol of how vulnerable we are without protection," Ruben Bernau, a General Physician in the group, said to a national newspaper.
Of numerous pictures posted on the website BD, doctors posed without any clothing but stethoscope. Pictures taken inside the hospital shows doctors covering their private parts with medical reports, face masks, toilet rolls, or just with their hands. In one of the photos, a doctor is seen holding up a placard which reads in German, "I learned to sew wounds. Why do I now need to know how to sew masks?"
The group said that a French doctor, Alain Colombié, inspired them to register their complaint this way. The French doctor had protested the shortage of PPE for himself and his co-workers in the fight against COVID-19 by being photographed naked and wearing bands that read "cannon fodder."
Germany has reported relatively less number of coronavirus cases than their other European members. The country was even been lauded for its low number of COVID-19 cases by bringing in early screening, testing, and treatment. However, the early success started to dwindle as cases started to rise and the shortage of PPE kicked in.
Despite easing business restrictions and allowing protective clothing manufacturers to up their production the supply has failed to match the demand. Hospital, clinics and care homes are demanding masks, goggles, gloves, and aprons to protect themselves when taking care of patients but say their needs have been barely met.
As cases are rising in the country, the demand for PPE has skyrocketed, so has the reports of theft of disinfectants and masks from the hospitals. Many hospitals have increased their security as a result. The police have blamed organised criminal gangs behind the theft.
Germany has reported 159, 431 confirmed cases
The German health ministry in the first week of April had announced to increase the supply of PPE by upping the domestic production. However, it is still getting the majority of safety gears from China and the import is irregular.
Germany has reported 159, 431 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 6, 215 deaths till Wednesday since the first case was reported in late January.
The group on its Twitter page @BlankeBedenken said, "Germany had claimed to be well resourced in its coronavirus fight. "But the protective clothing, disinfectant and single-use masks were soon not to be had. Despite their concerns about them and their patients being insufficiently protected against contracting the virus, across the country GPs and their teams are caring for people," Guardian reported.