Hospital returns donated ventilators, says not good looking enough

Apr 11th, 2020 | By | Category: New

Srinagar: A government hospital in Kashmir has returned mobile ventilators donated by a charity in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, stating that the machines lacked “good looks”.

The hospital is badly in need of additional ventilators in the face of COVID pandemic, but said couldn’t compromise on “colour and looks” of the equipment.

“I thought it was a toaster,” Dr Nadeem Naseer, the incharge of the COVID hospital in Srinagar told Dapaan about the innovative mini-ventilators donated to them. “What if the patient also mistakes it for a toaster, and his complaining attendants go to town claiming that we put him on a toaster instead of a ventilator. The media will then roast us on a real toaster.”

Asked if it was a good enough reason to return the much-needed devices at such a critical juncture, Dr Nadeem  said, “No, No, this is not the only reason. You should have seen the colours too. Such drab, boring colours, even the dogs roaming around in our wards don’t like that colour and that is why the canines were sneaking in and out from the wards,” he explained.

Top Health official Anil Tuli, however, had a different explanation.

He refuted rumours that the government had pressed the hospital to return the free ventilators because they did not look “nationalistic enough” or involved no commissions for officials.

“These are all rumours leaked by irresponsible officers, who can’t keep a word.” Tuli said.  “By refusing ventilators, we actually encourage, rather train, patients to fight the coronavirus themselves without relying on ventilators. After all, it’s a long battle and they have to fight it themselves.”

Tuli added that telling people there were enough ventilators would send a wrong message.

“We don’t want people to stay complacent. They will get lazy and stop exercising. They may even show up at the hospital asking for a ‘shah dama’ (a pint of breath),” he said. “We can’t afford to send a negative message.”

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