Gardener collects swabs at MP hospital due to staff shortage


Shortage of staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced authorities to take the help of a daily wage gardener to collect samples of people at the government civil hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Sanchi, the constituency of state health minister Prabhuram Choudhary.

The incident came to light on Monday when some television reporters recorded the gardener, Halke Ram, collecting swabs of people for testing at the hospital in Sanchi, a world heritage site located 50 km away from Bhopal.

Block Medical Officer (BMO) Dr Rajyashri Tidke told PTI on Tuesday that the help of the gardener was taken for collecting samples due to the shortage of employees.

“Almost half of the staff of the hospital was found coronavirus positive. I had already informed senior health officials about the shortage of staff in the Sanchi civil hospital,” she said.

Halke Ram said he was assigned the task of sample collection by the BMO.

He collected the swab samples on Tuesday as well.

Meanwhile, Choudhary on Tuesday posted pictures of him campaigning for the April 17 Damoh assembly byelection.

He was not available for comment.

Madhya Pradesh on Monday logged the highest 6,489 coronavirus positive cases in a day, taking the tally of infections in the state to 3,44,634 while the death toll is 4,221.

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