COVID-19 nurse with swimsuit under her gown exposes PPE issues in Russia

Health-care workers in Russia are calling for better personal protective equipment (PPE) in their fight against the coronavirus after an unidentified nurse captured viral attention for wearing a swimsuit beneath a transparent plastic gown.

The woman was photographed at a hospital in Tula, a city roughly 175 kilometres south of Moscow, according to the local Tula News outlet, which obtained the photos from a reader. Local media reported that she was treating COVID-19 patients in her underwear, but later reports revealed that she was wearing a swimsuit.

The woman reportedly wore the swimsuit beneath her plastic gown because she felt “hot” under the stifling material. She was working at the Tula Regional Clinical Hospital at the time, where health-care workers in the coronavirus ward are required to wear PPE throughout their long shifts.

The woman has not identified herself or spoken out about the incident. However, some outlets have been referring to her as “Nurse Nadia.”

Photos of the woman quickly went viral on Russian and international social media channels, where many users cracked jokes about her bedside manner.

However, several medical professionals pointed to the photo as evidence that Russia must do more to equip its doctors with proper PPE so that they’re not overheating on the job.

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“Try putting a garbage bag on yourself, make a hole for the head and wrap yourself with tape and you will feel what a protective suit is,” one critic wrote in response to the Tula News story. She added that health-care workers should at least be given something that isn’t transparent.

Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of the Alliance of Doctors and an outspoken critic of the Kremlin’s coronavirus response, said the woman should have been issued a better-quality isolation gown for her work.

The regional health ministry says it reprimanded the woman for violating its guidelines.

“Employees were reminded of the need to comply with the requirements for sanitary clothing and appearance,” the ministry said, according to a translation by RT.

One of her colleagues at the hospital said she’s stressed out by the attention and concerned for her job, according to Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Russia is currently dealing with the second-largest outbreak of COVID-19 in the world, with more than 317,000 positive cases and over 3,000 deaths recorded to date.

While many nations have openly celebrated their front-line workers during the pandemic, Russian citizens have been more hostile toward their doctors and nurses, The Associated Press reports.

The country has seen a rash of suicides and a bizarre trend of doctors falling out of windows after criticizing the government.

Health-care workers have also frequently criticized the nation’s lack of protective equipment and its questionable infection control procedures, and many say they’ve been threatened with death or prosecution for speaking out.

Vasilyeva, for example, was jailed overnight last month after she accused the government of undercounting its coronavirus numbers.

“Nurse Nadia” has not said whether her outfit was a protest against conditions at the hospital.

Staff and patients reportedly did not complain about her clothing at the time of the incident.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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Australia loses 6% of jobs to coronavirus crisis: Official data

SYDNEY (REUTERS) – Australia may have lost three quarters of a million jobs between mid-March and early April when large chunks of the economy were shut down in the fight against the coronavirus, new data showed on Tuesday (April 21).

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed jobs recorded by the Australian Taxation Office payrolls system fell 6 per cent between March 14 and April 4.

The ATO system covers about 99 per cent of substantial employers, those with 20 or more workers, and 71 per cent of smaller employers.

The ABS monthly employment report for estimated there were 13 million working in early March, suggesting around 780,000 jobs may have been lost by early April.

The largest drop was in the accommodation and food services industry where a quarter of jobs were lost, while arts and recreation shed almost 19 per cent of workers.

“The largest impact of net job losses, in percentage terms, was for people aged under 20, for whom jobs decreased by 9.9 per cent,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS.

Total wages paid by businesses decreased by 6.7 per cent over the period.

This was the first release of the payrolls series, which uses data reported by businesses through the ATO to provide much more timely numbers than the monthly jobs report.

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