It was the worst and best experience over the last one year since the Janata Curfew was implemented across India amid the pandemic outbreak, says healthcare workers and doctors who were posted on COVID duties at various hospitals and jumbo care centres.
This pandemic has not only transformed the thought of the healthcare workers (HCWs) and doctors but has also made them understand that they have to be prepared for the worst as they cannot predict what is going to happen next in their profession.
Doctors said the nation was under corona trap but they did not realise it would hit Mumbai so badly as they did not even got time to be prepared. Moreover they have always been prepared for handling the worst condition but this sudden outbreak has transformed their life totally where they have to think beyond being doctors.
“It was on March 19 when I was working in the outpatient department at the BYL Nair Hospital I heard the Prime Minister called for Janata Curfew and after a few days there was complete lockdown and I was posted on COVID duties at the hospital. Initially, we were not aware of how to handle the corona patients, where they have to be kept and what all measures should be taken. Gradually, everything started to streamline but then again we started facing PPE kits which were less in quantity and we had to manage with that in high temperature,” he said.
He further said everything was on track only after proper protocol came into place as they were facing huge problems by the patients as they were not listening to them and they just wanted to run away. Moreover when the Nair Hospital became a dedicated COVID hospital which came as a relief for them as they did not have to see non-COVID patients at that time.
“It was not that easy to attend patients when we only did not know about the virus exactly but we had only the aim to tackle the situations whether it is worse or good. We learnt many things during this pandemic mostly how to handle patients at our worst situation. Moreover the civic body has worked as a backbone for us; they have helped us a lot in solving our problems,” he added.
Other doctors said the pandemic has exposed some of India’s inherent vulnerabilities when it comes to public health emergency preparedness. However, it gives me great pride in speaking of the resilience we built over time and the transformation that our public health system witnessed. The lockdown which was imposed on this date last year helped the government and healthcare fraternity to completely focus on tackling the pandemic and its collateral damage.
“We see tremendous improvement in our emergency preparedness, pathophysiology understanding, testing capabilities, medical engineering & treatment protocols, excellent use of steroids and more. Even with our immunisation drive, India has taken great strides in ensuring that maximum people get inoculated and are safe against COVID19. But the war is still on; people should act with responsibility towards themselves, their family and the society. Do not let your guard down even if you are vaccinated, said Dr Rahul Pandit, member of state COVID-19 task force.
“Moreover, the healthcare fraternity needs to train more manpower to deliver and take charge when required. Government and policymakers must raise national health systems and standards, and bring more preparedness and infrastructural up-gradation into the system,” Pandit said.