Ambulance drivers and health workers denied food, shelter

9, May 2020 | nepaltraveller.com

Ambulance drivers and health workers denied food, shelter

The same is the case in Bhojpur, an eastern hilly district in State-1. We know that medical workers are at the frontline in the fight against the virus globally. It would not be an exaggeration to say that their roles are essential to defeat the virus. But, in Bhojpur in State 1 medical workers and ambulance drivers carrying suspected COVID-19 patients are denied shelter during the night on the way to their destinations and back home.

Sometimes, they face inhuman treatment just for doing their jobs as they are considered as the possible carriers of virus. Ambulance driver Machindra Rai shared that he had frequently faced discriminations for carrying people suspected of contracting the virus. ''I was even denied a glass of water. So, we have to go through non-stop travels to reach home for food and accommodation. This is a problem we are facing. It is really painful. ''

Besides, he is also scared for his personal safety these days. As he complained, ambulance drivers are not given protective gear by authorities concerned. They are forced to buy masks and gloves at their personal expenditure. ''This job is very risky and challenging now.

On the way, we are denied services in hotels and lodges and not given a glass of water by anyone while on duty. We can't have a meal on time,'' he shared. According to him, it takes 12 to 14 hours to drop patients to Dharan and Biratnagar from Bhojpur and to return home. District Health Office, Bhojpur, medical workforce mobilised for collecting swab samples from quarantines in rural parts and for other workers are not allowed to stay anywhere during night.

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