Dang’s health workers struggle to find accommodation to self-quarantineFor a lack of quarantine facility, health workers deployed at the temporary hospital are staying on hospital premises.
On Wednesday, Dr Sarbesh Sharma of a corona-specific hospital in Beljhundi wrote a Facebook status requesting a lodging facility for a team of health workers he leads.
“Respected hotel entrepreneurs, social workers, political representatives, administrative authorities and friends from the media,” Sharma, who is the member secretary at the corona-specific hospital, wrote, “We appeal to you to help manage a hotel for us to quarantine ourselves at. We are not untouchables. We are compelled to touch you to save your lives.”
Health workers working day in and day out at the temporary hospital have struggled to find a place to live in Dang. According to Sharma, health workers are currently staying at the hospital premises and are taking turns to go home once a week since there have been no positive cases so far.
“But if there’s a positive case, we can’t go home as we may get infected ourselves and in turn infect our family members too,” Sharma told the Post. “What do we do in that case? There are no hotels nearby. So it’s time we think about it.”
Sharma said that health workers at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 should be provided with isolated lodging. In Beljhundi, however, there are no hotels. The nearest hotels are in Tulsipur, seven kilometres away, and in Ghorahi, which is 16km away from Beljhundi.
The lodging facilities inside the hospital have been suboptimal, Sharma said. “We need somewhere decent to stay and there should be a team that manages food for us,” he said, adding that currently the health workers are cooking food for themselves.
As of now, 45 health workers are deployed at the hospital, while the hospital administration has urged other doctors at the Tulsipur Zonal Hospital and health workers at the local units to prepare themselves to fight Covid-19.
The temporary hospital has a capacity of 100 beds, of which 20 are currently occupied. Previously, 64 individuals were isolated at the hospital, all of whom have returned home after testing negative for the novel coronavirus.
Govinda Prasad Rijal, chief district officer and coordinator of the corona-specific hospital, said, “As of now, the health workers are living on the hospital premises, as the condition is not dire. If the number of Covid-19 patients increases, we will manage isolated lodging and food for them. We are discussing to find a viable solution. We won’t put the health workers in any kind of trouble.”