Not just clapping: Indian medical professionals take to Twitter to demand resources, equipment

A key part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a self-imposed janata curfew or people’s curfew on Sunday involves Indians taking to their balconies at 5 pm to clap, bang utensils or ring bells to express their gratitude to those providing essential services, particularly medical professionals, during the coronavirus crisis.…

While many Indians have expressed appreciation for the prime minister’s effort to send thanks to medical professionals, those on the front lines of this challenge took to social media demanding much more than just applause.… Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, may have a mortality rate of 2%-3% – far higher than the ordinary flu. But that figure is itself contingent on the healthcare system being able to devote resources and attention to a large number of patients.

Take the question of personal protective equipment or PPE as it is known. These are the full-body suits needed to ensure that medical professionals do not themselves end up contracting the virus as they seek to treat patients. If they do get the virus, the blow is a double-whammy – the doctors, nurses and other staff would themselves have to either be treated or go into isolation, thereby putting an even bigger burden on an already overwhelmed health care system.…

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