CCTVs, yes. But who will install them?
After the Supreme Court of India heard several pleas from attenders of Covid-19 positive patients, it had directed the State government to ensure the installation of CCTV cameras in all dedicated Covid hospitals. However, only a few hospitals are being able to follow the order, as others are finding it hard to install the cameras.
Additional chief secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare Jawaid Akhtar stated that these instructions need to be followed immediately.
“The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) administration and district administration should take steps regarding installation of CCTV cameras in hospitals where covid patients are being treated. This will facilitate the management of such patients and remedial action can be taken after screening the footage,” he said.
He added that the footage from the CCTV cameras should be accessible to the supervising expert team or any other authority or body as per the directions of the State government.
There were instances in these dedicated hospitals where plumbers and electricians were not willing to go inside covid wards due to fear of transmission. As a result, some hospitals could not even fix a bulb in the toilet or were unable to do the smallest of jobs required inside.
“We agree that the government has issued the order to install CCTV cameras but who will come and fix them for us? The Group-D staff are reluctant to come and clean the wards despite giving them a hike of Rs 10,000. None of them are responding to our requests,” said an authority from a dedicated covid hospital.
Hospitals like CV Raman Nagar and KC General hospital clearly declared that they have not installed the CCTV cameras. Some hospitals like Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) said they have installed the CCTV cameras. Dr C Nagaraja, director of the hospital, said, “We have installed the CCTV cameras in all our covid wards. We even have cameras where ventilators are installed. We have also arranged a facility where doctors can also talk to the patients through these cameras. The footage is being recorded too.”
However, the secretary has also asked the hospitals to create a help desk, which is accessible physically as well as by telephone from where the well-being of the patients admitted in the hospitals can be looked after. Hospitals have also been directed to hand over the Covid-19 physical report to the patient or his/her relative.