Doctors treating patients while wearing raincoats and helmets expose the weak Public Health System of India

Prime Minister of India, Honorable Shri. Narendra Modi said that India is prepared to fight against Coronavirus. He even made a PM-Cares Fund and appealed that everyone should donate to fight the war against Covid-19. But the current state of public hygiene has exposed that India is not ready even to fight the war let alone win. 

The Public Health System of India is not ready for combat, and it has been proved by the insufficient health gear available in the country. Healthcare professionals are using raincoats and helmets that are worn on two-wheelers while examining the patients. There are more than 1300 positive cases across the country, and 35 deaths have happened; doctors are concerned that they might not become the carriers of the disease. It will only worsen the situation as the life of health care professionals, and patients both are at risk. 

The Prime Minister said that he is trying to get maximum gears from South Korea and China, but the statistics are alarming. Recently, ambulance drivers in Uttar Pradesh went on strike as they were scared of catching the disease. The President of Ambulance Driver’s Association, Hanuman Pandey, told the Reuters that, “We won’t risk our lives unless our demand is met.” And, their demand is simple to provide them health gears to stay safe while they carry Coronavirus patients. 

Estimates suggest that with such poor hygiene conditions and lack of health gear, more than 1,00,000 people can be infected from the virus by the mid of May. Even in the Eastern city of Kolkata, where junior doctors are assisting in treating Coronavirus patients in Beliaghata Infectious Disease Hospital have clearly stated that We won’t work at the cost of our lives.”

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Another doctor working in ESI Hospital in Haryana said due to lack of health gear he is wearing a motorbike helmet while treating and examining patients. A federal government officer said, “We are living on a prayer, it’s not that we can save ourselves by relying on the health system.”

India spends 1.3% of the GDP on Public Health which is the worst in the world and doctors are living in fear that they may become carriers themselves. Many healthcare professionals from Rohtak, New Delhi, Kolkata and many parts of the country are not willing to work without proper health gears and protection.