A female worker was killed and two COVID-19 patients were injured in an accident at a special COVID-19 facility in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati town on the Monday morning (October 5).
Alleging lapses of hospital management in the construction of the building, over 90 outsourcing workers, mostly nurses, have protested demanding action against those responsible for the mishap. Trade unions have supported the protest and demanded Rs 50 lakh compensation for the deceased worker’s family.
Radhika, 30, who was two months pregnant, died on the spot when the ceiling collapsed and a part of the sunshade of a window broke and fell on her in the newly constructed Padmavati COVID hospital under Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS). She was an outsourced employee working as a nurse in the facility.
The accident reportedly took place when the nurse was moving a 70-year-old COVID-19 patient to a ward on a stretcher.
“The poor quality construction of the hospital has killed the nurse who was the sole earner of her family,” said Radha Krishna, Chittoor district secretary of Andhra Pradesh Medical Contract Workers’ Union. He told NewsClick that the workers ended the protest after the district’s joint collector Veerabrahmam assured them that an enquiry will be conducted in the matter and announced one government job to a member of Radhika’s family.
Also read: COVID Cases, Deaths in Andhra, TN Concentrated Among Younger (40-69) Age Group: Study
He added that the contract workers in the government facilities are being paid as less as Rs 6,000 per month despite the Chief Minister’s promise of increasing the wages.
Accidents and poor facilities in dedicated COVID-19 centres have become a major cause for concern in the state. Earlier in August, 10 COVID-19 patients were killed in a fire accident in a facility at Hotel Swarna Palace in Vijayawada, which was run by Ramesh Hospital.
Total Cases Nearing 7.2 Lakh, More Than 6,200 New Cases
Andhra Pradesh has reported 6,242 new COVID-19 infections and 40 new deaths in the last 24 hours ending Sunday morning as the total number of COVID-19 positive cases reached 7,19,256 cases in which 54,400 are active cases. So far, the state has tested 60,94, 206 samples for COVID-19, highest among the larger states. The positivity rate of the total tests was at 11.84%.
Notably, the positivity rate has come down in the last two months. The positivity rate for the first one lakh tests was at 1.84% and it increased to 13.21% for the second 10 lakh cases. The rate was recorded as 16.47%, 16.86%, and 13.07% for the third, fourth and fifth 10 lakh cases, respectively. However, the positivity rate of fifty lakh to sixty lakh tests came down to 9.64%.
The death toll due to the virus reached 5,981 with over 440 deaths reported in ten of the total 13 districts in the state.
While East Godavari district recorded 1,78,500 infections, highest among districts, it is followed by West Godavari district with a total 70,133 COVID-19 cases. Nine of the 13 districts have reported more than 50,000 cases.
Nearly 70% infected individuals did not transmit the infection to others, while 8% transmitted causing 60% new infections, according to a research study on COVID-19 infections and contact tracing in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, published by the journal Science.