Medical workers in protective suits inspect equipment at a blood donation room of the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei province, China February 14, 2020. Picture taken February 14, 2020. (cnsphoto via REUTERS)
The Odisha Medical Service Association (OMSA), which represents state government doctors, other than those serving in medical colleges, shared a letter with The Indian Express, which calls for "immediate steps for supply" of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits to health care providers and doctors at district level and in peripheral areas of the state.
“There are insufficient masks, santitizers and PPE kits. So there is heavy chance of infection to health care providers. If that happens, we will enter into phase III of pandemic and that is very dangerous," the letter to the state health department warns.
According to a senior doctor with OMSA, Stage III of pandemic means when an person or animal carrying the virus can produce sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in population. Incomplete human-to-human transmission can occur in specific circumstances. Cases of the virus are confirmed with both proficient and continual human to human transmission.
The letter, signed by key officials of the association, requests immediate supply of six critical items – NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) N95 approved particulate respirator, 100% nitrile, powder free, latex free superior puncture and tear resistant HD gloves, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) approved light weight reusable indirect vented (splash proof) clear vision goggles, biohazard bags with international biohazard signs, disposable boot covers, resistant to particulate and liquids, elastic top 17 inches high and gowns.
The Health Secretary was not available for comment on why doctors are facing shortages of equipment.