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Protective gear in short supply at GH: Doctors

Despite all claims of the State Health department regarding adequate availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the State, a pathetic situation has come to the fore with certain hospitals even putting up notices directing the doctors and others to come with their own face masks due to non-availability of government supply.

Protective gear in short supply at GH: Doctors
A notice pasted on the government hospital in Chengalpattu district, on Monday


A notice at the government hospital in Chengalpattu district stated, “As per the Dean’s order, everybody should wear their own face masks due to non-availability of government supply.”This comes after submissions made by the Health Secretary Beela Rajesh at the Madras High Court that the government has adequate stock of masks and that doctors are being provided with masks and other equipment.

“The complete body suit including masks, gloves, shoes and other accessories is being provided to the doctors inside the isolation ward at Stanley Medical College and Hospital. However, the doctors on duty at the step-down facilities at the hospital are not even provided with face masks,” said an assistant doctor at the isolation ward.

Another doctor from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) on condition of anonymity said that the availability of N95 masks is not enough. “The N95 masks are the ones that are effective, while the other types of surgical masks are not so useful in preventing the risk of infection. Most of us are using the common surgical masks as the procurement of N95 masks from Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation is not regular and the current availability of the masks has been documented to nil,” the medico added.

However, Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar tweeted on Monday that the information on social media about few government hospitals running short of masks and gloves is false. “TN government has more than sufficient stock in hand that can comfortably run for the coming days. Strict action will be taken for spreading rumours,” he said.

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