Saving the First Responders of COVID-19
Recently Lancet called the health workers as “every country’s most valuable resource”, urging governments to ensure healthcare workers have access to safety gears. Given the uniqueness of the virus and the situation even the first responders are not sure if they have seen anything like this and of this scale in past and if they are really prepared to handle the pressure.
Considering the state of already overburdened emergency workers in the country, government machinery is taking some solid actions as follows:
For doctors, paramedics, healthcare workers dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, the Government has announced a ₹50 lakh insurance cover. Along with this, the government has advised the States to provide funds under the National Health Mission to medical colleges for procuring COVID-19-related items.
2. Directives for the landlords
Acknowledging the reports of landlords and owners evicting doctors who were serving the country in COVID 19 pandemic, the government advised the concerned authorities to issue directives to landlords not to evict the doctors and the health workers.
3. Transportation of health workers
The states and UT’s have been urged to look into the issue of health workers transport on priority so that there is no shortage of doctors, nurses and other health staff in medical facilities.
4. Supply of protective gears for health workers
To address the problem regarding shortage of personal equipment, the government is augmenting supplies of body coveralls, N95 masks, 2/3 ply surgical masks for health care professionals. The district administration also appealed to public not to buy masks as panic-buying deprived health workers of protective gear.
The sources that can produce and supply the requirement of body coveralls are being identified by Textile and health Ministry. So far the prototypes of 6 Indian manufacturers have passed the prescribed tests and the work for streamlining of supply chain is undertaken to maintain a steady supply of all materials required for the healthcare personnel.
5. Prescribed health measures
The healthcare workers who are working in infected environment are being placed under Chemoprophylaxis. Although a good move it should not instil a sense of false security and they should continue following all prescribed health measures i.e. frequent washing of hands, respiratory etiquettes, keeping a minimum distance and use of personal protective equipment etc.
6. Way forward
Such actions will be particularly important for prolonged response to COVID 19. The psychological trauma because of all this is mainly not acknowledged by the authorities. Here at OxyGarden we have an initiative “Aap ka kartavya, Hamara Saath” to support the emergency workers with mental health by connecting them with psychologists. So we request you to kindly spread the word with your loved ones working in the crisis and also share the helpline number- 9691660616 for the same.