The red zone for Covid 19. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

The work and life of health care workers significantly changed with the outbreak of Covid-19 in Kyrgyzstan. Many hospitals were reconverted into emergency clinics for patients with Covid-19. The Republican Center for Addictions opened a department for 120 patients at the peak of the pandemic in July, when other hospitals were overcrowded. 

The entrance of the red zone is strictly controlled. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan
Mid-August, there were free beds in the hospital. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Health care workers live 24/7 inside the hospital during their 14-day shift. The second and third floor of the building are dedicated to the “red zone”, whereas the fourth floor is a “green” and safe zone where medical workers can change and rest. There, hospital staff prepares personal protective equipment (PPE) for those about to enter the red zone. 

Hospital staff prepares PPE before entering the red zone. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Medical workers put on shoe covers, a protective costume with a hood, a respirator FFP2, a mask, glasses, and two pairs of glove to avoid any possible contact with the virus. Once they are completely dressed, they go down to care for patients. 

A nurse gets ready to go into the red zone. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

In the “red zone”, nurses prepare medication, injections and perfusions for the patients. They also keep medical records and communicate with health care workers in the “green zone” on phone or radio. 

Nurses prepare medication. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan
Medication for the treatment of Covid-19. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan
A nurse fills in medical records. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

The floors are regularly disinfected. Meanwhile, patients do breathing exercises to recuperate faster. 

A patient does breathing exercises. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan
Cleaning the floors in the Republican Center for Addictions. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Doctors monitor patients’ vital signs (blood pressure, saturation, temperature…) several times a day. If necessary, they use an oxygen concentrator to raise their saturation. 

A doctor checks a patient’s blood pressure. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan
Checking a patient’s saturation in the red zone. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

After leaving the red zone, doctors go into a transitory zone where they first disinfect their PPE, then accurately take it off, while washing their hands after each step, and finally shower and change their clothes. These strict prevention measures protect them from possible infection and are a warrant of their health. 

A doctor disinfects PPE. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan
Transitory zone after the red zone. Photo: Marion Biremon / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

The UNDP and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) is equipping health care workers with personal protective equipment (PPE), providing them with observation periods, and will organize trainings to enhance their knowledge on Covid-19 as well as psychological seminars to help them cope with the new pandemic.

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