In the meantime, of the eruption of Covid-19 contagion, there has been one lurid message from the healthcare workers of all over the world: “stay home and let us keep you safe”. As Pakistan has one of the struggling economies, people want to resume lives, jobs, and business matters. What Nationwide Health Professional & Paramedical Staff talk about Deadly CoronaVirus?
Moreover, nationwide paramedical staff are still frontline fighters, who still put their lives on the line every day. Now when government hauls up lockdown partially, for doctors, it is extremely apprehensive because, for them, the only remedy is: prevention is better than cure. Ere getting indulges in EID FESTIVITIES, opt for all the safety measures.
There are a few instances of the thousands of healthcare workers across the country, who are endangering their lives to save the nation. There are a few high-spirited anecdotes of health workers who are toiling the nation like Pakistan Armed forces and the enemy is an invisible microbe, and surely they are also on JIHAD.
What Nationwide Health Professional & Paramedical Staff talk about Deadly CoronaVirus?
Dr. Saima Kamal Moutasim, Karachi, Head of Covid-19 ICU, Dow University of Health Sciences
“Unless you have seen and managed a corona patient gasping for breath, seen young people die from it, worn a three-layer PPE for hours on end when you can’t eat or even go to the washroom, you have no idea what corona is. When as a physician you feel helpless even after you have done everything to save a life but you can’t, you realize it’s real. It is very, very real. At home, l get calls from the hospital regarding patient management and administrative issues. The past two months have been draining, both mentally and physically, due to various issues, ranging from a lack of resources to the uncertainty of this disease and its circumstances. You never know that you may be an asymptomatic carrier.”
Dr. Aftab Phul, Hyderabad, Focal person for Covid-19 isolation ward, Liaquat University Hospital
“I have [physically] distanced myself from my family completely. I live in a separate rented house. A cook there who maintains a safe distance serves food to me and no one else visits me. As doctors, we don’t get sentimental and are ready to face any kind of situation. Many educated people call us and tell us that it is a Western sort of conspiracy. Staff members working in the isolation wards face the threat of the virus directly. They are doing a great job without any incentive. Their colleagues are working other jobs on the same pay scale which are not as potentially dangerous or harmful as [being in] an isolation ward.”
Zakir Ali Mashoori, Hyderabad, Ambulance driver, Liaquat University Hospital
“Why would I get scared? It is my job and I have to do it. I have driven many patients and also transported some bodies to Tando Mohammad Khan. I just wear the protective kit and then leave all thoughts behind. My parents tell me not to get too close to the patients and not to go on duty without wearing the kit. But what should I do? I have to be in the ambulance whenever needed because it is my duty. After returning home from a 14-hour-long shift, “I change my clothes, take a bath, and then sit with my family for dinner. I didn’t get my test done. I am told that one should go for a test only if they show symptoms and Alhamdulillah, I have no symptoms.”
Ashiq Husain, Lahore, Technician, Emergency Operation department, Children’s Hospital Lahore
“We all feel a little scared due to the pandemic, but as health professionals, we will have to take care of the public. I maintain a distance from the children and other family members when I get home after finishing duty. I also avoid coming into contact with the elderly and children. We have been taking safety measures such as wearing PPE, maintaining social distancing, and using hand sanitizers for the past two months.”
Sadaf Noreen, Lahore, Nurse, Children’s Hospital Lahore
“The mortality rate has gone down and the number of patients coming in with other ailments and after traffic accidents has decreased while some surgeries have also been delayed, taking away some of the physical strain. After getting home, I put away all my belongings from the hospital at a distance and meet my family only after bathing with warm water, taking steam, and using a sanitizer. People should realize that this disease will not only affect them but will also create problems for their loved ones and society at large.”
Dr. Bakhtawar Fatima, Lahore, Postgraduate trainee, Lady Willingdon Hospital
“It is very scary when you know you may cause harm to your family as my father is diabetic. We are being as careful as we can so that we may not be the carrier of Covid-19 to our patients and others. I wash my clothes and place them in sunlight. I do not take anything home with me from work. I want the public to realize that hundreds of people have lost their lives in the country and this pandemic is “not a joke. Wash your hands properly, take precautionary measures, and do not put your family at risk.”
Imran Khan, Swat, Ambulance driver, Saidu Group of Teaching Hospital
“Initially, I was scared and confused and even hesitant to continue with my duties once the outbreak began. But I overcame the fear in my heart with my will to play a role in the battle against this pandemic. I am performing my duties without any expectations, just for the blessings of the Almighty. We are provided with personal protective equipment [while on duty] and I make sure to follow safety guidelines. I have seen all types of Covid-19 patients; some are stable while some are in critical condition. Therefore, if I could say anything to the public, it would be this: Take special care and follow precautionary measures to avoid contracting the virus.”
Asad Iqbal, Swat, Lift operator, Saidu Group of Teaching Hospital
“Before leaving my house, I recite Ayatul Kursi and blow around me so that I am protected against the coronavirus. When a coronavirus patient comes to the hospital, I am the first person to receive them. It is my job to take them to the elevator, designated for such patients and transport them to the isolation ward on the third floor. Others run in the opposite direction when they hear of a coronavirus patient. But I take care of them, without fretting over their diagnosis. I know that if I ever tell them about working at the isolation ward or being exposed to the virus while on duty, they will tell me to stop. For people to call the virus a conspiracy is unfathomable. I see patients daily; sometimes I receive a patient and later find out he has died. People need to take it seriously; this isn’t a joke.”
Dr. Muhammad Arif, Swat, Works at Covid-19 isolation ward, Saidu Group of Teaching Hospital
“I chose this profession to serve humanity irrespective of caste, creed, color, and religion. So I am treating this period as my responsibility as a frontline healthcare worker. They can’t breathe properly and are in acute discomfort. Sometimes, the color of their face changes due to shortness of breath. Some of us have taken to living at the quarantine center where we have been assigned personal rooms, instead of returning home. People need to avoid leaving their homes unnecessarily. Even if they have a health-related issue, they should stay at home and contact their doctor over the phone. I have made it a point to be available on the phone 24/7.”
Fazilat Akram, Swat, Nurse, Saidu Group of Teaching Hospital
“Since the coronavirus pandemic began, my life has become one of solitude. Before the pandemic, I would sit down with my family members at the dinner table, where we would update each other about our lives. Now, after finishing up work, I go home and don’t interact with anybody. I have told my children to maintain their distance. My children think I am strange, but this is what I have to do to protect the people I love. It is tiresome, but I am constantly scared. At work, I fear contracting the virus and at home, I fear passing it onto my children. The mental stress alone has robbed me of my sleep. I have witnessed the deaths of eight Covid-19 patients so far, and it was “the saddest moments of my life”. The elderly patients are in constant pain, unable to breathe, and unable to sleep for a few moments of respite. When the first patient died, it broke my heart to see that the family was told to keep their distance. They didn’t even take part in his funeral.”
Dr. Raheem Khan, YDA Baluchistan chapter spokesperson
“The biggest fear that doctors have at the moment is not that they will get infected with the virus; it is that they might infect others. Let me explain: doctors are working day and night; they are on call and are performing surgeries. We never know if the patient we are interacting with is corona positive or not. So when you go home and sit down with your family or go and visit your friends, this fear is always playing up in the back of your head, the thought that ‘what if I am transmitting the disease. I have been living at a hostel for the past few weeks, I have stopped going home because let’s face it, we are a danger to this thing is constantly at the back of your mind: are you getting infected or are you a source?
So stay at home so that you can live longer. Just look at the current situation. Cases are increasing and we have to break the chain to stop human-to-human transmission. The tests being conducted right now don’t illustrate even a small percentage of ground realities. Avoid crowds, avoid iftar parties. Only when you are alive can you enjoy these things. People will have to show a serious attitude towards this virus.”
Jamal Shah, All Pakistan Medical Staff Federation president
“Every single day, since the disease first emerged in Pakistan, has been of immense difficulty and worry for us, and the situation is only getting worse. The people of the nation still don’t understand the gravity of the situation. I have seen frontline workers give up their lives while battling the coronavirus. On their behalf, I want to say only this: understand the current circumstances and their severity and stay at home.”
After reading the above stated daring lines, we as a NATION should behave instinctively to respond and defeat the unprecedented deathtrap.
With Courtesy to Dawn News TV.