Dry vaccination ‘dry run’ at Hindu Rao Hospital amid nurses’ strike

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The nationwide dry run on Friday to oversee the preparatory arrangements for Covid vaccination before the vaccine rollout saw minimal participation of nurses and paramedical staff of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North MCD) as they continued their strike over non-payment of their salaries pending for more than four months now.

The officials of the civic body said that they faced difficulty since the nurses and paramedics make most of the staff designated for vaccination. A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that a few people were called from outside to manage the minimum requirement.

Two days ago, a similar dry run was conducted at the hospital where 34 healthcare staff had participated. However, participation on Friday remained less than half of that day, the official added.

The people who participated in the dry run informed IANS that none of the paramedical staff took part while a few nurses, barely four or five in number, went for the drive.

Tejinder Singh, of the Paramedical Staff Welfare Association of North MCD, confirmed that none of the paramedical staff joined the vaccine mock drill. “We refused to take part in it,” he said.

However, Indumati Jamwal, President of the Nurses’ Association of Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, said that four or five nurses have continued providing their service in the hospital.

“They might have attended the exercise. Apart from them, all of us continued our strike,” she said.

The North MCD admitted that it struggled conducting the dry run due to the lack of healthcare staff but maintained that it remained successful. “Yes we faced a bit of difficulty but overall, the dry run at Hindu Rao was successful,” Yogendra Singh Maan, Directorate of Press and Information, North MCD, told IANS.

The nurses and paramedical staff of Hindu Rao and the Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis (RBIPMT) which comes under the civic body, are on indefinite strike against the North MCD since Thursday, demanding immediate disbursal of their salaries which are withheld for over four months now.

“We discontinued our protest last time because we were given assurances that our salaries would never delay. However, we have gathered now with a resolve to stay on strike until a permanent solution of this continuous issue is not brought upon,” said Virender Chaudhary, President, Nurses’ Association, RBIPMT.

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