The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, has refuted allegations of lack of quality N95 masks and PPE kits for the healthcare staff, saying the equipment was in accordance with the standards set by the government.
Responding to a report on healthcare staff falling prey to Coronavirus, the AIIMS administration said: “More than 95% of the staff who tested positive for Covid-19 did not have any evidence of transmission from the patient care activities based on detailed evaluation by the Contact Tracing Team. Of these, a large majority came from containment zones. Training has been imparted to all cadres of staff in infection control practices in context of COVID-19.”
AIIMS administration further clarified that the institute has been issuing appropriate PPE kits, including N95 masks, biosafety coveralls, etc., in all patient care and support areas to all healthcare workers irrespective of the mode of engagement. “Sufficient stock of PPE is being maintained to ensure they are made available at all times as required. AIIMS states that specifications for the N95 masks are equivalent to that of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The N95 masks supplied to AIIMS meet specified standards. The same were evaluated and certifications verified by a committee at AIIMS.”
Around 195 healthcare workers have tested positive at the premier institute so far, including doctors, nurses, mess workers, laboratory staff, technicians, sanitation staff and security personnel. AIIMS’ sanitation chief, who had tested positive for Covid-19, died three days ago and a mess worker died last week.
“Since March we have been writing and fighting for the safety of hostel premises, poor sanitation, lack of proper quarantine protocol and need for adequate testing,” Dr Srinivas Rajkumar T, General Secretary, RDA, AIIMS had said earlier. He had alleged that the N95 masks do not meet safety standards.