Sacrifice And Commitment : Healthcare Workers Walk Tightrope

Being trapped inside PPE suits, battling the fear of contracting Covid-19 and not meeting children, spouses or parents for weeks. But that is what they signed up for and that is what they do, say the doughty doctors and nurses at the AIIMS Trauma Centre.


A 25-year-old doctor who completed his MBBS from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) died of Covid-19 on Monday after battling Covid for over a month.

Dr Vikas Solanki had completed his internship and gone to his hometown in Haryana where he got the infection. He was brought back to AIIMS for treatment. He had no co-morbidities, the virus attacked his pancreas, leading to hypoglycemia & sepsis, then organ failure and despite the best efforts of the doctors here, he passed away after being on a ventilator for 1.5 months,” said Dr Amrindeer Singh Malhi, a resident doctor at AIIMS.

Doctor Abhinav Singh said, “He is the most talented guy I have ever met.” He said that AIIMS doctor’s tried very hard to save him, but we couldn’t . “Dr Vikas always asserted that investment on education can change the face of India.”

As per the latest data collected by the IMA on August, 8, our nation has lost 196 doctors, out of which 170 of them are above the age of 50 years, with general practitioners attributing to around 40 per cent of it,” the IMA said expressing concerns over the safety of doctors losing their lives in the fight against the Covid-19.

Recently, Thirty-six doctors from private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics succumbed to Covid-19 in the past three months across Karnataka, according to the state chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

In a letter to the prime minister, the country’s largest body of doctors said only an “inclusive national solatium” for all doctors who have lost their lives fighting the pandemic would render justice to the sacrifice of their families. The IMA cited government data and said 87,000 healthcare workers had been infected and 573 of them had lost their lives due to Covid-19. However, the Centre has not officially released these figures.

Dr Javed Ali, 42-year-old contractual doctor, who was working with Delhi government’s National Health Mission, died of coronavirus on 20th July. He tested positive for coronavirus on June 24 and was hospitalised for treatment over the next three weeks.

Joginder Chaudhary had been battling the infection since June 28 after he was tested positive a day earlier. After a month-long struggle, a 27-year-old doctor has succumbed to the deadly novel coronavirus at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) in New Delhi. He was a junior resident and worked on an ad hoc basis at the Delhi government-run Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar (BSA) Medical Hospital and College since October 2019. He worked in the flu clinic and then in its casualty ward until he developed a fever on June 23.

While an increasing number of doctors are getting infected and losing their lives every day, a substantial number of them have been found to be general practitioners.

Since a significant proportion of the population consult general practitioner due to fever and its related symptoms, they remain the first point of contact as well as care, the doctors’ body.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the IMA requested him to ensure adequate care for doctors and their families who are a special risk group and extend the state-sponsored medical and life insurance facilities to doctors in all the sectors.

“The IMA represents over 3.5 lakh doctors spread across the country providing next door affordable healthcare, it is pertinent to mention that COVID-19 does not differentiate between government and private sector and affect all same.

“Further disturbing are the reports that state that the doctors and their family members are not getting beds for admission and deficiency of drugs in most of the cases. The IMA thus requests the government of India to provide adequate attention for the safety and welfare of doctors during the pandemic,” said Dr Rajan Sharma, National President, IMA

Dr R V Asokan, Secretary-General, IMA, said the mortality rate among doctors due to Covid-19 has reached an “alarming proposition” now.

“Saving each and every life of a doctor will ensure the safety of thousands of patients who depend on their care. Doctors who have died in the line of their professional duty merit favourable consideration for succour and solace to their families. It is thus pertinent for the IMA to also draw your attention to the demoralising effect to our healthcare community,” he said.

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