COVID-19 has affected thousands of people in the national capital. While common man remains the most affected, there are some who have to face the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic. One such person is renowned cardiologist Dr Upendra Kaul. He shared his ordeal with Healthwire over the phone.
Kaul got himself tested on June 2 as he had to go to Srinagar – his birthplace. “I was asymptomatic but the test was required as it would have helped mein getting out of the airport without quarantine. But it came positive and I went into quarantine myself,” the doctor said.
According to Kaul, the so-called well-educated society will do everything to make you feel like an outcast once you are tested positive for the deadly virus
“Unfortunately it is being considered as an outcast or social stigma. Even in the colonies where so-called educated – I won’t call them educated – people are living. They will keep on taking pictures of people who are entering your home, will take photos of the maid coming to your house, and then complain to the residents’ association. I live in Greater Kailash my block has a separate association. They complain to SDM and then he will call you. They call up the chemist and ask them not to send medicine to my address. They asked Safal store not to allow any of my family members. These are something that is completely objectionable,” said Dr Kaul, who is also the Chairman and Dean Academics and Research at the Batra Hospital and Medical Research Center.
Kaul said that administration is clueless about what to do and has no backup plan for the situation arising because of the large number of doctors being tested positive for COVID-19
“Authorities are clueless. The left-hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. On one hand, Delhi administration is saying that asymptomatic people need no test on the hand they are sending an ambulance to take you to COVID-19 hospitals. They come wearing PPE kit, will keep ringing you. I asked them which hospital you are taking me, but they were clueless. They said we will search one through the app once you will be in the ambulance. Also, there are no beds for people who are critical and need care but you want a person to be hospitalized who is hale and hearty,” he said.
“There are doctors. Doctors like me get infected while curing patients. Several doctors are being tested positive and you ask them to self-quarantine. Then you will have a shortage of doctors and similar is the situation with nurses. There’s no backup and they are not doing any arrangement. Start taking the help of nursing students of the final year. It hardly takes 30 minutes to train them as there is no cure for coronavirus. Nothing of that sort is being done. They will talk about converting playgrounds into hospitals. Now tell me what kind of facilities they will be able to provide. They are making such statements to divert the mind of people,” Kaul added.
The doctor said that the government must divert some funds toward the health sector to tackle this pandemic. He also urged the Central government to not to do politics as these are the testing times.
“These are very unfortunate times and the budget for health is around 1 or 1.5 of the GDP. Countries like the USA, Spain, and Italy where the health budget is much more – 7 or 10 per cent of the GDP – even their system collapsed. Where do you stand in front of them? So divert some fund, there is so much money in Prime Minister’s relief fund but there is no transparency. States like Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal need a bulk of the money to handle such a situation. But you are doing politics over it, going there and making political speeches,” he said.
Dr Kaul has now recovered from COVID-19 and can be contacted via [email protected]
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