Nurses on their way to KEM Hospital for work during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai on April 9, 2020. (Express Photo: Prashant Nadkar)
Claiming they were working in harsh conditions, Class III and IV employees of the KEM hospital in Mumbai staged a protest Tuesday after a fellow colleague died, and his body remained in the mortuary for two days.
The deceased worker, aged 45, died on May 24 after suffering from high grade fever, loss of taste and body pain. He worked in a COVID-19 ward and had been exhibiting symptoms since May 20, but was not tested or granted leave. His co-workers said he was not given leave even after he fell ill. He continued to report to work till May 24.
On May 24 evening, his family rushed him to KEM hospital, but he passed away en route.
His death was declared as a suspected covid death and his body was handed over to his family on Tuesday.
Union members protested from 7 am till 12.30 pm at the hospital premises demanding better working conditions for health professionals. Several members said they were not given leave or proper treatment facilities.
“We are working in poor conditions, and for longer hours. Ideally we should be quarantined and treated if we have symptoms, but that is not happening,” said Pradeep Narkar, representative in the union.
Hospital dean Dr Hemant Deshmukh held a meeting with union representative and assured them he would provide treatment in nearby Mahtma Gandhi hospital if Class III and Class IV workers fell ill.
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