How COVID-19 proved to be a litmus test of Indian nurses' mental strength
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Agartala: A day after the nurses of GB Pant Hospital in Agartala staged protest demanding gloves, masks and other materials, the health department issued show-cause notices to 18 nurses on Thursday, said health secretary Debashish Basu.

Speaking at a press conference, Basu said that on Wednesday some nurses had made allegations against the health department which were baseless. “It is not that all the nurses require masks including those who are working in the office,” he said.

“All the health staff do not require to wear N-95 masks as there are some protocols according to which the kits are given. The demands were not accepted and as a result, they were seen protesting at the premises of the hospital,” Basu said.

He also said that the state has sufficient medical kits and materials some of which would reach in the next two days. A total of 5,000 kits have reached Guwahati and they would be transported to Agartala by Friday.

“We have placed an order for 15,000 rapid antibody kits, which will be used for screening of patients randomly and if anyone is found having the symptoms the sample would be collected for real-time PCR test in AGMC microbiology lab,” Basu added.

The department is also planning to set up another testing lab at IGM hospital so that the number of tests can be increased in the state. Once the additional kits ordered arrives that would be distributed in the district hospitals so that random tests can be performed on patients having symptoms.

So far, a total 985 persons have been placed in surveillance, 829 in home surveillance, 156 in facility surveillance and they are being monitored every day by the health staff. A total of 291 samples have been collected, of which only one has reported positive, while 17 are being tested in the laboratory.

He also informed that those who were put in quarantine are being provided with a certificate of completion after 14 days so that one does not face problems in his area.

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