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Coronavirus in Bengal: Contractual staff test positive, refused treatment at hospital

12:41 AM Aug 08, 2020 | Prema Rajaram

The social stigma and apathy surrounding COVID-19 is prevalent in rural areas more than in urban pockets. A case in point is in Asansol in Paschim Bardhman district which came to light on Friday.

Two hospital staff of the Burnpur hospital of SAIL ISP who tested positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic have been sitting on the hospital stairs since 4:00pm on Thursday demanding hospitaladmission. They say that there are not getting proper facilities.

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According to them, all hospital staff, both permanent and contractual staff were tested for COVID-19 on the 31 st of July, and subsequently these two contractual staff tested positive for coronavirus. The reports came out on the 4th of August. The hospital authorities however asked the contractual staff to remain in home quarantine instead of giving them space in the hospital to be quarantined.

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According to the coronavirus patients, villagers allegedly chased them from their homes when people in the vicinity found out they were COVID-19 positive.

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“We have been sitting here yesterday since 4:00pm. Food is coming from our house. We work here, we want to get treatment here,” said the female contractual staff who has tested positive.

“The government says patients will get e-facilities. We are supposed to get a Rs.1 lakh subsidy from the state government. The management has not made effort to give us that. The hospital staff says is not doing anything for us, there are 2 COVID-19 patients who have been told to leave the premises, but they are not even providing an ambulance. They have left it upon the contractors. Why should the contractors be responsible? Why should the hospital not be held responsible to treat coronavirus patients during this pandemic like permanent employees?” questioned another contractual staff on condition of anonymity and who tested negative.

The hospital authorities however have not responded to the allegations.

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