The number of COVID-19 cases in India are growing at the fastest pace in comparison to any other country across the world. In the seven-day period between September 3 and September 10, India reported an average of over 90,000 cases every day. The grim figures clearly show that the pandemic is far from over. But the irony is that the healthcare workers still have to convince people to take necessary precautions. One such frontline doctor shared her concerns and said people are now just ignoring the harsh reality that COVID-19 is.
Dr Palak Kaserwal, who is currently treating coronavirus patients in Mumbai, shared a disturbing incident with Humans of Bombay (a photography page), and explained the ground reality. Narrating a recent incident, she said that two of the staff members at the hospital she works at tested positive for COVID-19. As soon as the news broke, it created panic amongst the residents living in the nearby areas.
“When word got around, the nearby residents gathered at the gates, demanding us to shut down. I was early that day and all alone. I was scared and asked the medical head to drop me home. On my way out, they were shouting at me, 'Don't come back for the next 14 days!' They were angry, but more than that, they were scared. So the next day, the police and government officials calmed them down and they relaxed a little," she said.
Palak further spoke about how doctors have been accused of getting a kickback every time they sent someone to a quarantine centre. “A Whatsapp message has been doing the rounds where people are accusing us doctors of getting a kickback of 1 lakh for every patient we send to a quarantine center, where organ selling happens."
Calling it a “thankless job”, she said that the doctors put their lives at risk to help the nation get rid of this virus. Talking about how people are taking the situation lightly, she said, “Over the past few weeks, people are behaving like COVID doesn’t even exist, when the numbers are only going up! I’m telling you, I’m at the frontline that the battle is still raging. People turn up without masks and we have to convince people to isolate themselves! It’s like we’re back to square one, when actually we need to be more cautious than before."
The doctor further said that separating families and not allowing the family to see the loved ones one last time is heartbreaking, but it’s their duty to protect them. Urging everyone to do their part, the doctor said, “The situation is bad, we are nowhere close to defeating the virus and all we’re asking, begging you to do is JUST WEAR A MASK”.
Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals have been working tirelessly for eight months now, without worrying about the risks they’re prone to. They are our real heroes in the fight against this virus. Let’s do our bit by wearing masks and stepping out only if absolutely necessary. Stay home, stay safe!
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