Nurses at government hospital in Chennai stage protests alleging shortage of staff

The long working hours as a result of inadequate manpower is putting their lives at risk, say nurses.
Nurses during a duty at a coronavirus ward
Nurses during a duty at a coronavirus ward
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Nurses working at the Government Medical College at Omandurar Estate in Chennai staged a protest on Wednesday citing a shortage of workforce in the hospitals. The nurses also said that the shortage of staff at COVID-19 wards is putting their lives at risk. The hospital is one of the many government hospitals where COVID-19 patients are being admitted.

According to reports, the hospital has 140 staff members, of which half of them are posted in the COVID-19 wards. The nurses working at the coronavirus wards attend to patients in two tower blocks over three shifts. At times, the nurses are forced to work for 12 hours a day, increasing the risk of contracting the infection.

The nurses also alleged that some of their colleagues have tested positive for coronavirus. They said that they are unable to handle 20 or more patients at a time.

The nurses also put forth demands, including one seeking additional postings of nurses in the government hospital and more medical equipment for testing patients.

The nurses called off the protest after Dean Narayana Babu held a talk with the protesting nurses. The Dean promised that more staff would be deployed, following which the nurses dispersed.  

As of Wednesday, Chennai recorded a total of 25,937 COVID-19 cases. Of the total cases, 13,085 patients are currently undergoing treatment at government and private hospitals. So far 12,591 patients from Chennai have been discharged following recovery. The capital has alone recorded 260 deaths from the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

The district with the second-highest caseload, Chengalpattu, has recorded 2,328 COVID-19 cases. In the total, 897 patients have been discharged following recovery while 1,412 patients are receiving treatment at the hospitals.

Tamil Nadu has recorded a total of 36,841 coronavirus cases. Of these, 19,333 people have been discharged by the government after recovery. Currently, 17,179 patients are receiving treatment in the state.

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