A Russian nurse disciplined for wearing only lingerie beneath a transparent protective gown is afraid of losing her job after images taken by patients went viral.
Colleagues, doctors and politicians have rushed to her defence, accusing hospital bosses in the city of Tula of failing to provide her with correct PPE for working on a coronavirus ward.
They said she was not provided with proper scrubs to wear underneath the thin gown, which was also too thin to offer proper protection from the virus.
Colleagues, top medics and politicians in Russia have rushed to the defence of a nurse who was photographed wearing only underwear beneath a PPE gown on a coronavirus ward
They say the nurse was not provided with scrubs to wear beneath the gown leading to the ’embarrassing’ situation, and should not be punished
It comes after the medic, who has not been publicly identified, said she was ‘too hot’ underneath the gown and did not realise how transparent it was.
The backlash comes after officials at Tula Hospital said they would take disciplinary action against the nurse for violating uniform codes, without specifying what the punishment will be.
Male patients on the ward said they had ‘no complaints’ about the uniform, but admitted there was ‘some embarrassment’.
‘Now she is under big stress,’ a colleague told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
‘She is in a state of shock and afraid of losing her job altogether.’
Head of the Doctors’ Alliance, Dr Anastasia Vasilyeva, who has been critical of the Russian response to coronavirus, offered to back the nurse in appealing against her punishment.
‘If she turns to us, we will protect her,’ she said.
‘The fact that the costumes are of such a quality that do not meet the standards is a problem for management, not the nurse.
‘The picture shows that she was wearing some kind of plastic suit.
‘We need to pay attention not to her [lingerie], but that the (gown) does not meet the necessary standards.
‘Firstly, a plague-proof costume is never transparent.
‘And it must be made of a completely different fabric.’
She did not break the law and ‘why should she, if it is hot, put herself in any kind of danger?’
One nurse who works with the punished woman said her colleagues ‘do not want to say more as they are afraid to harm her.
‘It is all very simple in Tula. Bullying will start against her.’
Officials at Tula Hospital (pictured) threatened the nurse with disciplinary action for violating uniform codes after images taken by patients went viral
The incident happened because there was a shortage of medical clothing to wear under the protective gown, she said.
‘In general we are supplied with PPE, but from time to time we run out of something.’
Nurse Oksana Drybo, from the same hospital, said it was important to understand ‘why this happened’.
There were insufficient supplies of disposable or reusable undergarments for nurses to wear as they treat coronavirus patients, she said.
She complained: ‘Medics do not like to be in transparent suits, but there are no others.
‘And some do not have even transparent ones.’
Former professional boxer, now a pro-Vladimir Putin MP, Nikolai Valuev, urged patients to write to the authorities in her support.
‘Let’s hope that the nurse with her appearance aroused in male patients the desire to live,’ he said.
‘They found strength in order to resist the disease even more actively.
‘As a rule, good emotions always contribute to recovery.’
Another politician Vitaly Milonov said: ‘No disciplinary methods should be imposed on the (nurse). There was no malicious intent…I’m sure she herself was embarrassed….
‘In no case should the girl be punished, I am sharply against this.’
Senator Vladimir Krugly said there was a ‘violation of the mode of wearing of this protection’ but there should be no ‘reprisal’ against the nurse.
Head of Miss X lingerie brand Anastasia Yakusheva said: ‘We want the Tula nurse to become a model of our underwear brand.
‘We are ready to deliver several sets of exclusive new products for fitting, and in the future we plan to conclude an annual agreement with her.’
But she would have to stop her work as a nurse, said Yakusheva.
Trade Union leader Andrey Konoval said: ‘It is clear that in this case there was a violation of generally recognised norms of the dress code and appearance at the workplace.
‘In our opinion, it was possible to do without disciplinary action.’
Drybo added: ‘If patients photograph and spread (the pictures) so joyfully, then they are either not sick or they are being treated well and they should go home.
‘Recovering patients should be grateful to the doctors who cured them.’