Kashmir Indepth

These frontline warriors observe International Nurses Day as ‘Black Day’ in Kashmir

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

Babu Khan

Srinagar, May 12 (KINS): Unmindful of their health, Kashmiri nurses are susceptible to get infected of the coronavirus in absence of protective gear.

These frontline warriors also called International Nurses Day, which was observed on Tuesday as a “Black Day” for nurses in Kashmir.

International Nurses Day is observed on May 12 every year to celebrate birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The theme for International Nurses Day 2020 was “Nursing the World to Health”.

At the same time, nurses in Kashmir are craving for protection gear amid the COVID-19 scare.

In the last two weeks, many nurses, doctors, and other health workers who are frontline warriors have been infected.

The most affected is Super Speciality (SS) Hospital Srinagar where at least 11 people have been tested positive for coronavirus so far. Among them five are hospital staff members including three nurses, one doctor, and a sweeper, which has created a fear among them.

“International Nurses Day is a ‘Black Day’ for nurses who are working at Super Speciality Hospital. Nurses are fighting valiantly against COVID-19 but without protective gear. Nurses are susceptible to catch virus. We have never seen personal protection equipment at the hospital. Despite many positive cases, no screening of hospital staff has been done,” a nurse posted at Super Speciality Hospital told news agency KINS. At least 70 nurses are working at the hospital, who are vulnerable to contract infection.

The nurse said they were ready to do their duties unmindful of their health but should be given protective gear.

“I don’t care about myself as being young I can fight it out if gets infected. But what about my old parents if they get infected because of me who are already immune compromised,” the nurse asked.

Another nurse claimed that hospital administration was risking the lives of nurses.

“The infection has already transmitted in the hospital. Several patients and attendants have been tested positive and were asymptomatic. We are vulnerable to catch infection. There is an isolation ward but there is no cabin and separate washroom,” another nurse said.

The nurse said government should provide them a hotel where they can stay after hospital duty instead of going home. “Who will like to infect their families,” they asked.

They protested on Monday against the authorities for not sending them into quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak. They were also joined by resident doctors, registrars, security guards, demanding personal protection equipment (PPEs), and accommodation for the front line workers.

A 32-year-old resident whose was attending his ailing father at Super Speciality Hospital died last week after catching the virus apparently from his father who also died on Monday.

Medical Superintendent Super Specialty Hospital Dr Shabir Ahmad said he has taken up the matter with the authorities to provide them hotel accommodation.

Similarly, there are many nurses who work round the clock to treat COVID-19 patients. “For us this is not International Nurses Day but a Black Day. Nobody is concerned about our health. Even Principal GMC Srinagar never appreciated our work or showed any concern,” a nurse at SMHS Hospital said.

“Nobody is renting us accommodation here. We are facing social stigma. People prefer to stay away from us. Nobody wants us to enter their homes saying they may get infected,” the nurse added.(KINS)

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