A medical worker inoculates a doctor with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at the Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre (IKDRC) in Ahmedabad on January 16, 2021. 
(Representative Photo)
A medical worker inoculates a doctor with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at the Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre (IKDRC) in Ahmedabad on January 16, 2021. (Representative Photo)
(Photo by AFP)

BHOPAL: Doctors are working round the clock keeping away from their families in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19. They are stressedóboth physically and emotionally. It is extremely distressing for them to know that they cannot do anything to help a patient gasping for breath because oxygen is in short supply.

The number of patients is overwhelming and there are shortagesóof oxygen, of drugs, of beds, of everything. That has made the situation very dark and dismal. And that is why, doctors say, theyóas well as their patientsóneed a strong dose of positivity.

Free Press spoke to some doctors treating Covid-19 patients in the city to know what they are facing and how they are coping with the problems. Excerpts:

No fixed hours of work

"We doctors have no fixed working hours. We get to sleep for barely two or three hours. Many doctors have got infected. But they're still working. When I leave my home, my family members are yet to get up and when I reach home, they have gone to sleep. Besides being physically tiring, our job is emotionally draining. Weíre human beings, too. Itís very stressful to see patients gasping for breath. But we have to control our emotions. After all, we have a duty to perform. Patients in Covid wards cannot meet their relatives or friends. That makes them anxious and panicky. We reassure and counsel both the patients, as well as their family members. I only wish that the media would focus on the positive aspects of what's happening"- Dr Abhijeet Deshmukh

Quarantined in off hours

"My husband, Dr Siddhartha Dixit, and I are both manning Covid wards in a private hospital. Weíre on duty from 3 pm to 11 pm, with weekly breaks during which we are quarantined. In the wards, we have to check the vitals of the patients; update their medication charts and deal with their complaints. The number of patients is very high and, in this second wave, the disease is manifesting itself in many new ways. Every day, we see patients turning critical. The work is physically draining as we have to wear PPE kits for the entire duration of duty. That means we canít eat or drink anything for eight hours. Both my parents-in-law are also doctors and theyíre also involved in treating Covid patients"- Dr Chandrika Dubey Dixit

I feel very sorry and angry

"I've been night in-charge of the Covid control-room in a government hospital for the past 10 days. Iím on duty from 11 pm to 7 am. I have to be in a PPE kit for all of those eight hours. No eating or drinking or visiting washrooms during this period. Covid patients come to us and we decide whether to admit them. Most of them have low oxygen levels. Iím seeing that the number of patients is rising by the day. When I find that we canít admit a patient due to a lack of beds, I feel very sorry and angry. I confine myself to a room in my home after my duty hours. I donít get close to my children"- Dr Manish Suliya

PPE kits are suffocating

I'm looking after around 150 Covid patients at a hospital in the city. Itís a very tough job, especially since we have to wear the PPE kit which is suffocating. My wife is pregnant. But I havenít met her for the past 25 days. We have to work for a week and then isolate ourselves. I must say that not only the doctors, but all the medical workers, as well right from the nurses to the ward boys are doing a great job. These are tough times for everyone. Patients and their family members are also suffering. My heart goes out to them. I think maintaining a positive attitude is very important for the patients, their family members and health workers. We all need positivity"- Dr Ashutosh Dubey

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Free Press Journal