A video has emerged from Bengaluru, which shows patients with COVID-19 lodged at Victoria Hospital, mopping the floors of the isolation wards. With the lack of adequate housekeeping staff to clean the wards regularly, patients have had to do the cleaning themselves.
Local media showed patients sweeping the hospital floors, mopping it and also changing the sheets on their beds, due to the lack of housekeeping.
Victoria Hospital is one of the designated COVID-19 hospitals in Bengaluru city. This government hospital is with 500 beds dedicated for isolating patients with COVID-19 patients admitted and looked after. There are currently 14 patients with COVID-19 in Victoria Hospital’s ICU as well.
Media reports stated that food and water was not available to the patients regularly, and cleanliness and hygiene protocols were not being followed by the hospital’s administration since the last four days.
A doctor from Victoria hospital told TNM on condition of anonymity that it all boils down to the fear experienced by the housekeeping staff, who are employed there.
"The issue regarding housekeeping staff cropped up after a few staff members tested positive. When there are positive cases, along with the patients, their primary contacts also go into quarantine. It also led to reluctance among housekeeping staff to continue showing up for work," the doctor said.
Another doctor too, stated that the housekeeping staff come from low income backgrounds and do not have the luxury of maintaining physical distance with family members. “They have families and children and most of them are scared to come into contact with patients in isolation,” the doctor added.
TNM had previously reported that there were seven staff from Victoria who tested positive for coronavirus, while being asymptomatic patients. This includes three nurses who interacted with COVID-19 patients on a regular basis. This comes despite the fact that nurses wore PPE (personal protective equipment) kits at all times.