As the country battles rapidly spreading deadly coronavirus that has killed over 6,500 people and infected more than 1.5 lakh across the world, the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in AIIMS Delhi has exposed the lack of preparedness in the country's most premium government hospital.
Most of the wards in the AIIMS hospital didn't have adequate universal precaution components, which is putting is putting the lives of doctors and nursing staff at risk from the new coronavirus and other infectious diseases. This was revealed during an inspection by a team of Resident Doctors Association (RDA) on Monday, March 16.
In a letter to the director of the AIIMS, Delhi, the Resident Doctors Association expressed their concern about the safety of the medical staff due to inadequate availability of PPE in the hospital. The RDA urged the hospital administration to take prompt action to ensure round the clock availability of the PPE in order to ensure the safety of doctors and nurses during the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"... a team of RDA Executives inspected various wards to check the supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipments) in this crucial time of the COVID-19 pandemic and sadly found that most wards do not have adequate universal precaution components. We request the Administration to take prompt action to ensure PPE availability round the clock for the safety of Doctors and Nursing staff in order to continue providing our selfless services to our patients," the RDA wrote.
The letter signed by RDA president Adarsh Pratap Singh also urged the AIIMS director to consider the association to be a stakeholder in the Coronavirus Action Team in planning and implementing the action plan to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
WHO urges industry, governments to increase PPE manufacturing by 40 per cent
Notably, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also warned that the disruption in the supply of PPE caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak is putting lives of the medical staff at the risk. The WHO urged industry and governments to increase the manufacturing of PPE by 40 per cent to meet the rising demand.
"Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others. But shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons," the WHO said.
According to the WHO, the prices of personal protective equipment have surged since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak and surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled.