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"Even when the nurses are showing symptoms, tests are not prescribed by the doctors to force them to work. Even days or weeks after a test is prescribed, the same is not done", the petition states.
A petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court praying that the State of Kerala be directly to urgently take steps to bring back COVID-19 affected Malayali nurses from other States to Kerala, given that the conditions in other States are deteriorating by the day.
The plea filed by Kerala-based United Nurses Association (UNA), through its President, Shoby Joseph. The plea highlights that the health of medical workers is of utmost importance to combat the deadly coronavirus. A dearth in the number of heath care workers would only make if more difficult to fight the virus, the petition adds.
The UNA has now raised concern that Malayali nurses in other States such as Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal are working in alarmingly dangerous enivronments.
Further, it is alleged that many nurses are not being tested or treated expeditiously even if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. In this regard, the Association says that it has spoken to a number of nurses presently in these states.
"The Nurses are working in alarmingly dangerous environments which give them exposure to the COVID 19 Virus. Even when nurses are showing symptoms, tests are not prescribed by the doctors to force them to work. Even days or weeks after a test is prescribed, the same is not done. After being tested positive also, the nurses are denied basic facilities like food, quarantine and medical care."
UNA in its Petition
Noting the helplessness of the families of such nurses, the UNA states that it had given a representation to the Kerala Chief Minister. While the online petition was accepted, no effective steps have been taken to bring back the nurses, the plea states.
Adding on, the plea argues that"in the gravity of the situation, each and every moment lost in the other States, where the facilities (are) less and the authorities have turned a blind eye in spite of repeated calls from the Kerala State Government..."
The petition also gives a rough statistical representation of the number of COVID-19 affected Kerala nurses stuck in other states, without effective treatment.
In view of these concerns, the petition seeks a direction to the State of Kerala to take steps for the return of COVID-19 affected nurses belonging to the state of Kerala for treatment, "since the conditions in other States are deteriorating day by day."
The UNA has also urged the Court to direct the Kerala Government to take urgent, concrete steps to ensure the safety of Malayali nurses in other States.
This apart, the petition prays that the State of Kerala be directed to monitor such grievances of the nursing community in the future during the pandemic period.
The petition has been filed through Advocates Sriram Parakkat, KR Sripathi and Anupama Subramanian.
[Read the petition here]