A year of dilemmas, risks and sacrifices

Health Minister Eatala Rajender felicitating a COVID-19 warrior of Gandhi Hospital on Tuesday. Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav was also present on the occasion.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G.

The State government doffed its hat to the healthcare workers (HCWs) of Gandhi Hospital here, which had been turned into an exclusive COVID-19 facility during the peak of the pandemic, and acknowledged their unwavering efforts, commitment and immense sacrifices with a ‘Felicitation of Corona Warriors’ programme on Tuesday.

March 2 holds significance for HCWs of this government hospital as it was where Telangana’s first COVID patient underwent treatment.

In a packed hall at Gandhi, Health Minister Eatala Rajender, Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy, hospital superintendent M. Raja Rao, and former superintendent P. Shravan Kumar took turns to recall services rendered by doctors, nurses, para-medical staff, sanitation workers, patient care providers and support staff during challenging times.

They narrated the dilemmas, threats and discrimination that the COVID warriors faced.

The Minister talked about how HCWs put duty before everything else and stayed away from their families for days on end. Some sanitation workers and patient care providers were debarred by neighbours from entering their own houses and had to take shelter on hospital premises, he said.

Salary issue

He assured sanitation workers and patient care providers that their demands for salary raise would be addressed. He urged doctors to undertake research to understand reasons for deaths of COVID patients.

Dr Shravan, who was the hospital superintendent during the initial phase of the pandemic, said after the first COVID patient was admitted, they brainstormed on how to care for the patient while staying safe. He added that doctors from Pulmonology department also rose to the occasion during the trying times.

Dr Raja Rao, the current superintendent, discussed the long procedure followed to discharge a COVID patient because of which many were stuck at the hospital for several weeks post recovery, apart from guidelines followed for admission of COVID suspects, handling of patient bodies, and treatment of COVID-positive pregnant women and those battling serious ailments.

He read out list of names across sections, appreciating them for their dedication. He said the hospital had the distinction of treating over 30,000 COVID patients back to health.

Though he planned to address the gathering for only 10 minutes, his speech lasted for over 25 minutes.

Dr Ramesh Reddy said though they made anticipatory arrangements to attend cases, they were taken aback when the first case was detected. He stressed that people should not forget the services of medical personnel who served during the pandemic, fought and died of the infectious disease.

HCWs and members of NGOs who donated medical resources and food were felicitated on the occasion.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:22:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/a-year-of-dilemmas-risks-and-sacrifices/article33974492.ece

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