Despite COVID-19 Outbreak, I Was Asked to Reuse My Surgical Mask
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
I am a junior resident in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The other day, I went to the Department of Medicine to see a referral in our hospital’s male ward (RF1), where I came to know that the patient is a suspected COVID-19 positive case.
My department (PMR) had not given us any masks for the last two weeks. Forget masks, even hand sanitizers were not provided by the hospital.
Finally, after repeatedly going to the Medical Superintendent-cum-Vice Principal’s office, we got a regular mask, which we have to reuse. They did not give us fresh masks. We had to wear the same mask day in and day out, which is pointless and does not protect us from the novel coronavirus.
We see over 400 patients everyday but the hospital refused to give us protection as they would only provide masks to surgical personnel and to the department of medicine.
We are undertaking unnecessary risk to this contagious virus and yet, no steps are being taken to ensure our safety or to restrict the number of patients in OPDs.
The reason they gave us for providing the surgical department masks and not us is because during an operation the pus would leak out and that would cause a viral transmission. Imagine, a doctor told me this to my face – that pus would cause viral transmission!
A virus which is said to spread in aerosol form. Now, they are saying that pus will cause transmission. There is no evidence or indication of any parenteral or any transmission via body fluids except the aerosol, which is the saliva and the secretion of the respiratory tract.
So, I don’t know who put these people there. I don’t know what they are trying to do.
But it’s not going to be good, at all.
(The doctor spoke to us on the condition of anonymity. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)