Mumbai: Healthcare workers at the forefront of the war against coronavirus are not only facing the daunting task of handling patients but are also fighting to keep their own worries and emotional stress at bay.
A doctor from a leading Mumbai hospital, who is currently home quarantined after he came in contact with a colleague who had coronavirus symptoms, said these times are challenging for everyone, including the medical fraternity.
Even though his colleague tested negative for coronavirus, the doctor is not taking any chances as he has aged parents and a six-month-old son at home.
"I haven't touched my baby since the last one month. Yesterday was my wife's birthday, but I could not participate in the celebration since I am confined to a separate room in the house," the doctor told PTI.
He said some of them at the frontline of the COVID-19 war are feeling exhausted and running out of patience. "Initially, we thought we would tide over the crisis.
But now April is ending and there is no sign of decrease in coronavirus cases. My colleagues haven't met their families for last one month," he said. "The junior doctors, nurses and paramedics have really taken up this war time as a challenge.
We hope we are able to flatten the curve," he said. He said wearing the personal protection equipment (PPE) and masks for long hours is also no mean task and makes them feel suffocated. The PPE comprises a gown, shoes, cap, N-95 mask, goggles, and double gloves which are airtight.
"Still, there is no guarantee of protection against the virus," he said. Most hospitals here have separate coronavirus disease ward, ICU, and a dedicated medical team whose members work for five days and then are quarantined for seven days, he added.
A nurse, who is ward in charge in a city hospital, was initially quite worried when she was told last month that the medical facility will admit COVID-19 patients, and she and her team will be working in the specially created ward.
"We were not mentally prepared and had heard about how serious the situation was in China. I was more worried for my young team than my 15-year-old son and husband. What if I was got infected while treating the patients?" she said,