ASHA workers: ‘Had to suspend work for Covid-positive colleague’
Ambala ASHA workers’ body had protested and suspended work on May 6 demanding the department to shift their fellow worker to another hospital with better facilities for treatment
A day after the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers’ union suspended work in Ambala demanding better facilities for their Covid-19 positive colleague, the health department on Thursday accepted their demands but refused to shift the patient to the other hospital.
As per details, an ASHA worker in her late 30s and a resident of Dukheri village in Ambala cantonment had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on May 4. She was isolated at the designated hospital for Covid patients in Mullana along with 21 fresh cases, but another female doctor who tested positive on the same day was isolated at the civil hospital in Cantonment.
The district ASHA workers’ body had protested and suspended work on May 6 demanding the department to shift their fellow worker to another hospital with better facilities for treatment.
‘RISK IN SHIFTING PATIENTS’
Chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Kuldeep Singh said, “We have told the authorities in Mullana to take care of the facilities but there is no plan to shift her to any other hospital as there is always a risk in that.”
Meanwhile, Anju, president of district ASHA workers’ union, said, “If the frontline health workers don’t get adequate facilities, then how can they help in this war against the pandemic?”
She said, “We had to suspend work for one day because our fellow worker was not getting adequate facilities at the hospital. So many people are using the same toilet and there was also some problem with the food arrangement.”
“However, our demands have been accepted by the administration and the health department. They have ensured better facilities for her and also told us that ASHA workers, if found positive, will be isolated at other hospitals in future,” she said.
Around 900 ASHA workers have been performing Covid-related duties in Ambala district since April 4. Earlier, the workers were allotted duties in different areas to check the foreign returnees and ensure that they are quarantined. In the second round, they were allotted duties to check residents with flu-like symptoms and refer their case to the health officials.