Tuesday, March 28

No going back: Covid warriors renew pledge on Doctors’ Day

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The pandemic may have changed their lives, but it hasn’t broken their spirits. Several doctors who had been infected in the line of duty are back at work, tending to patients and going out of their way to be part of social causes, like donating plasma or joining support groups to stand by Covid patients and their families.
After serving a month at the emergency of Peerless Hospital since the Covid cases started getting reported in Kolkata, consultant Anisur Haq had tested positive on April 22. He got admitted to the hospital and spent 17 days in an isolated cabin. “It was scary. Till I tested positive, I had been treating those who were either infected or suspects. Suddenly, I had been converted into one of them. What was, however, both disturbing and reassuring was that several of my colleagues, too, had tested positive and were housed in adjoining rooms. Even though we could not see each other, I drew courage and inspiration from them. I told myself that if they could fight it, so could I,” said Haq who rejoined duties on June 3.

AMRI cardiologist Arijit Ghosh had tested positive on April 26 while in home quarantine after serving at the Covid unit for a week. He was back at work after a fortnight and is among those who donated plasma for the clinical trial on convalescent plasma therapy. As the city observed Doctors’ Day on Wednesday, Ghosh attended to his OPD patients before heading to his alma mater SSKM Hospital to join the launch of Covid Care Network (CCN) launch, a support group, and then headed back to the hospital.

“Covid is not going to leave us any time soon. Therefore, we cannot stay away from treating patients. The OPD footfall is slowly picking up,” said the doctor.

Calcutta Medical College and Hospital intern Arijit Bhattacharyya was posted in the orthopaedic ward till he was sent into isolation after a patient tested positive. Bhattacharyya, too, tested positive and was treated at ID Hospital before being discharged on May 1. He has also donated plasma for the clinical trial.

“I have applied for house staff-ship at the CCU of my college in the hope that I would be able to serve Covid patients,” he said.

Sayantan Chakraborty, a resident doctor at Tata Medical Centre, is back to treating patients at the hospital after serving the compulsory home quarantine period after discharge from ID Hospital on April 1. The doctor has been dividing his time between attending to cancer patients and his social commitments. A part of CCN, Chakaborty is mobilizing other Covid survivors for the donation. “As doctors, we also have a social responsibility, both inside and outside the hospital. I am only trying to do my bit,” he said.

Did he ever consider staying away from work? “Never,” said Haq, adding, “I realized that each doctor was needed at the frontline and my presence could make a difference. The fact that I was infected is not present even at the back of my mind. Yes, I do take the necessary protection, but that’s all.”

Source:Times of India

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