Home India ‘Fighting in the frontline without fear’ — Nurses discuss Covid situation with...

‘Fighting in the frontline without fear’ — Nurses discuss Covid situation with Rahul Gandhi

In a video interaction with four Indian-origin nurses, Rahul Gandhi discusses safety of healthcare workers, and how other countries are dealing with the pandemic.

Rahul Gandhi speaks to Indian-origin nurses about the Covid situation in India | Twitter
Rahul Gandhi speaks to Indian-origin nurses about the Covid situation in India | Twitter

New Delhi: Families of healthcare professionals dying after contracting the coronavirus should get compensation sooner, nurses appealed to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during a video interaction Wednesday.

On the National Doctors Day, Gandhi was in conversation with four Indian-origin nurses working in hospitals in different parts of the world.

“Two nurses have died in Delhi, they were from South India. In AIIMS, one retired doctor passed away, and one serving person in the sanitation department (died). But, they are yet to receive the compensation of Rs 1 crore announced by the Delhi government,” said Vipin Krishnan, a nurse working in Delhi’s AIIMS hospital.

“I want to bring this to your notice since you are the opposition leader,” he added.

In his response, Gandhi said he will write to the government, requesting it to expedite the process of compensation.

ThePrint had earlier reported that Gandhi will be holding an interaction with nurses of Indian-origin in a mix of Hindi and English, in order to widen the reach of his video interactions. Gandhi has held a series of interactions since April — with economists Raghuram Rajan and Abhijit Banerjee, health experts Ashish Jha and Johan Giesecke, industrialist Rajiv Bajaj as well as former US diplomat Nicholas Burns.

During the interaction Wednesday, the AIIMS nurse also raised the issue of healthcare workers in India not included in the “risk allowance category” of the government.

“Risk allowance should be given to nurses and doctors at least at this point of time because we are losing lives. We are exhausted and we are fighting in the frontline without any fear,” Krishnan said.

Also read: First official figures on Covid among healthcare workers in India — 1,073 cases until 23 May


Nurses from New Zealand, UK, Australia

Besides Krishnan from AIIMS, other nurses part of the interaction included Anu Ragnat from New Zealand, Narendra Singh from Australia and Sherlylmol Puravady from the United Kingdom.

Gandhi pointed out that the epidemic in other countries is “winding down but our epidemic is picking up”.

Ragnat, who works with New Zealand’s Northland District Health Board, lauded the country’s government for “doing really well” in tackling the pandemic.

“Going hard and going early was the motto by the Prime Minister Jacinda. So she’s done absolutely well. So I think going hard and early was really the right thing and that really flattened the curve in New Zealand,” Ragnat said.

“The communication between the government and healthcare health workers was really good,” she added.

New Zealand was declared a “Covid-free nation” in the first week of June.

Puravady added that people in the UK are also “very respectful”.

“We have dedicated shopping time for the NHS staff or the care workers. Every Thursday, the government is making sure there is clapping for carers. So, it is so supportive,” she said.

‘Indian nurses are very hardworking’

The nurses also discussed the “essentials” to be followed by all health workers.

“Wash your hand. You have to wash the hand, during the day like I do in a 12-hour shift, we wash a hundred times. Put a proper PPE,” Singh said.

Gandhi also asked them why Indian nurses are “so valued” abroad.

“I went to the Middle East and they took me to a hospital there. And then in the hospital, they said look if we didn’t have Indian nurses, we could not run our hospital,” Gandhi said.

Puravady said it’s because “Indian nurses are very hardworking”.

“They dedicate, you know, dedicate their life to the profession. They don’t care about themselves. They see the patients in front of them as either their parents, their children, their mother, their brother or sister,” she said.

Also read: Doctors, nurses have final responsibility to protect themselves from Covid: Govt to SC