Warangal: In the wake of the exponential rise in the number of Covid-19 cases being reported every day, lab technicians in Kakatiya Medical College and MGM Hospital, Warangal, are working under tremendous pressure.
According to reports, around 18 lab technicians are testing more than 200 swab samples per day. Two other lab technicians have been deployed at MGM to collect swab samples from COVID suspects.
So far, 26 lab technicians tested positive for COVID at MGM and all of them have been quarantined.
“We are doing double duties to cope with the workload. Testing COVID samples or collecting swab from the patients poses risk to our health. It is like putting a hand into a tiger’s mouth. Even after working for 12 hours a day, we are not being given leave or break. Our superiors are threatening us that we will be suspended if we ask for leave. Forget about leaving, we are working even on holidays. Moreover, we are not being given adequate PPE kits and masks. Once we wear the PPE kit, we have to remain in it without eating or drinking for 12 hours to avoid the risk of contracting the virus,” said a lab technician working at MGM.
Further, the lab technicians said that they were not working on COVID cases alone but also doing tests of non-COVID patients.
“The government has to keep it in mind that even our lives matter as it is we who have to identify if a person had contracted the virus or not. If we get infected, there is a risk of lab technicians spreading the virus to others and one other possibility is there would be no one remaining to do the tests,” said another lab technician working at KMC.
A lab technician from MGM, Khursheed, 50, had succumbed to the infection after the doctors at NIMS refused to admit him there.
“We need to be provided with an adequate number of PPE kits, gloves and masks because we are more vulnerable to catch the infection. When the lab technicians collect the samples from the patients’ throat or nose, they usually sneeze and cough many times which poses a potential threat to the staff. When we are involved in doing such a job, the authorities should provide us with basic things like PPE kits and other protective gear,” said a senior medical staffer from MGM, Warangal.
In July, another lab technician from the Chest Hospital, Goverdhan, also died of Covid-19.