Law & Justice

Odisha nurses recorded TikTok video in newborn care unit, served notice

Four nurses working in the special newborn care unit of the district headquarters hospital of Malkangiri have been given show cause notices after a few TikTok video clips of the nurses frolicking inside the hospital went viral on Wednesday.

The nurses, wearing their green uniform and caps posted several video clips lip-syncing to some Hindi film songs and dialogues using TikTok, a popular Chinese video-sharing Android application. In one clip, a nurse even held up a newborn baby while popular Hindi songs kept on playing in the background. All the video clips were posted from a single TikTok handle of a user named Jyoti Ray.

Soon after the video went viral, the Malkangiri health officials summoned nurses Nandini Ray, Ruby Ray, Tapasi Biswas, and Jyoti Ray and served them show-cause notices. Jyoti Ray reportedly shot the video clips.

“The nurses admitted to shooting the video clips inside the newborn care unit. In a hospital and that too in a special ward for newborn babies, such things are prohibited. I am now inquiring into the incident and will recommend necessary penal action to the health secretary,” Malkangiri chief district medical officer Dr. Ajit Mohanty said. The CDMO added that the service of nurses, all contractual, may be terminated if necessary.

Like several other Odisha districts, the health infrastructure in Malkangiri is inadequate. In the district hospital alone, posts of 21 specialists and doctors are lying vacant against the sanctioned strength of 59. Several posts of senior specialists of the special newborn care unit, Anaesthesia, Orthopaedics, Skin & VD are lying vacant.

The hospital has only 125 beds but at least double of that number get admitted forcing many to sleep on the floor. In 2016, Malkangiri was in the news over the death of 103 children due to acute encephalitis syndrome of whom 37 were diagnosed with Japanese Encephalitis virus in their blood.

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