New Delhi: While both Kolkata and Howrah are fighting with a number of increased COVID-19 cases, over 300 nurses employed in various private hospitals have quit their jobs and left for their homes in Manipur, Tripura, Odisha, Jharkhand etc. Also Read - COVID-19: Maharashtra Records 105 Deaths, 2190 Cases in Last 24 Hours, Total Tally at 56948
The Association of Hospitals of Eastern India (AHEI), a non-statutory body with 17 private medical facilities in Kolkata as members, has written to Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha seeking his intervention in resolving the crisis. Also Read - On Call, PM Modi Discusses Economic Impact of Coronavirus With Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa
At least 185 nurses left for Manipur earlier this week. On Saturday, 169 followed suit — 92 hailing from Manipur, 43 from Tripura, 32 from Odisha and two from Jharkhand, sources at the city’s private hospitals said. Also Read - We Will Not Learn! French NGO Collects Masks-Gloves And Other Medical Waste in Mediterranean Sea-Bed Amid COVID-19
In his letter, Pradeep Lal Mehta, the president of the AHEI, said, “Although the exact reason why they are leaving is not known, we have found out from other nurses still on duty that the state government of Manipur is offering them a lucrative stipend to return home.”
Taking to Facebook, however, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh rubbished the claim and said, “No such advisory has been issued by the state. We are not asking anybody to return. We feel proud of them as they serve the patients in Calcutta, Delhi and Chennai.”
“We have already said that we will compensate and reward them for treating COVID-19 patients. But if the nurses, doctors don’t feel comfortable in the hospitals where they are working that’s up to them… I cannot force them to stay there. It’s their choice. That might be the reason why they are coming back,” Singh said in a video address.
A nurse, who left for Manipur earlier this week, said safety concerns and parental pressure were the two main reasons she quit her job.
“Our parents are concerned and we are stressed as the cases here are rising every day. Our state is a green state and we wish to go back. Our state government is helping us. Family and parents are our priority,” one of the nurses said when contacted over phone.
(With PTI Inputs)