Rajamma, a 67-year-old nurse at a maternity centre in West Delhi, died on Wednesday, June 3. She died four days after testing positive for COVID-19. For more than 20 years, the 67-year-old worked at Shivaji Maternity Centre, a two-bed clinic, in Tagore Garden. Nearly 10 days ago, after returning home from work, she started complaining about a body ache and cough, according to her daughter.

“Last Friday, we got her test done, and on Sunday, the result came positive. By then, she had developed breathing issues.”

Diagnosed with COVID-19

“She stopped going to work and developed a fever and a severe cough. Last Friday, we got her test done, and on Sunday, the result came positive. By then, she had developed breathing issues,” said Divya Madhusudan, daughter of Rajamma. Later on, Rajamma’s niece Shobha who resides nearby received a call for them, asking for help with hospital admission.

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Shobha was quoted by Indian Express saying, Rajamma’s health was deteriorating and so was Divya’s who is also a nurse at a hospital nearby. She stated that “I called the police and they sent an ambulance that went to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital first. As no bed was available, Rajamma was taken to Lok Nayak Hospital, where she was admitted”. However, pretty soon she was shifted to the ICU, and around 1:30 am on Wednesday, she passed away.

PPE Shortage

Rajamma’s co-worker Sunita, who worked with her for the past two decades said that “She treated patients like family and absolutely loved babies. She would treat them like her own, and patients would leave very happy.” The owner of Shivaji Maternity centre, Dr Ashok Jain also explained while they have 2 beds and 3 nurses. Although they were provided with masks, gloves, and sanitizers but not with PPE kits since they are a clinic and aren’t treating patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

Divya who is currently unwell has been quarantining herself at home said that her mother spoke about the lack of PPE’s.

Divya said, “The last day she reported to work, she returned home stressed. She said she had come in contact with a pregnant patient who had a fever, cough. After that, she fell sick. I haven’t reported working in over two months as I had pending leaves.”

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Rajamma working at the clinic would earn Rs 10,000 a month. She hailed from Kottayam in Kerala but has settled in Delhi about 40 years ago. After hearing the news of Rajamma her fellow workers are quite scared to return to work. “The centre gave us masks, gloves and a shield too. The centre’s entrance, the furniture were sanitised at regular intervals. We didn’t have PPE kits but we never thought we needed them either,” Sunita said.

Image Credits: The Indian Express 

Shreya is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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