Dr. Shah describes his field experience to help #IndiaFightsCorona

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

"Since COVID-19 hit India, doctors from different departments have come together to fight this challenge. Hence, as a Resident Doctor in the Orthopedic Department, I am now working for COVID-19 cases. I am Dr. Poojan Shah living in Ahmedabad, India. 

Dr. Poojan Shah
Image: Dr. Poojan Shah

My job is to monitor and to carry out the fieldwork for COVID-19 patients. In the hospital, a completely separate OPD (Out Patient Department), which is now also termed as the “Corona OPD”, has been set up for the patients who arrive at the hospital with symptoms such as fever.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the patients are either admitted to the COVID-19 ward or are home quarantined.

The Local Medical Station Officers are also doing a commendable job by putting up stickers at the front of the houses of home-quarantined patients and by alerting the neighborhood to maintain distance from them. 

I believe no country was prepared for this Pandemic. Initially, due to lack of PPE, we were using HIV kits to protect ourselves but now we have enough PPE kits and we are working round the clock to look after our patients. India has done an exemplary job to implement the lockdown proactively at the early stages. I cannot even imagine what the situation would be like if strict actions weren’t taken on time. 

Dr. Poojan Shah on duty wearing PPE suit
Image: Dr. Poojan Shah on duty

Getting the PPE kits was not the only challenge for us. I am mostly appointed to carry out the fieldwork that includes going to different areas to test potential COVID-19 patients who are home-quarantined. India is now getting warmer with temperatures rising to 43°C (109° F) in Ahmedabad. It is extremely challenging and painful to wear the PPE suit and be out on the field all day to collect samples. The suit is so suffocating to wear and the hot temperature is adding to our misery. Once worn, we cannot even take off the suit to drink water as it becomes unsterile.

At times I am nervous and scared when I am in contact with a potential carrier. But as a Doctor, my Hippocratic Oath and duty are very important to me. Hence, I keep my calm and continue to work hard. As a doctor, I have to look after not only my patients but also myself. For that I am cautious about my surroundings, taking all the preventive measures and maintaining complete hygiene. 

My family is really worried about me at all times. They call me frequently while I am out on the field. However, we aren’t allowed to touch our phones. So, it takes hours for me to call them back. I can understand that in times like these, my family also gets impatient and it is completely justified. After all, they know that someone from the family is out there dealing with COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Poojan Shah on duty with PPE suit
Image: Dr. Poojan Shah on duty

These days because of a lot of emergency cases, I can visit my family only when I get some time off even though they live in the same city.  

Having said that, I know the situation is very hard, but I don’t have any complaints. I have always wanted to serve my patients with dedication. Hence, I chose to become a Doctor. All I request people is to cooperate with the Doctors, Nurses, Police and the Government. Please understand the gravity of this situation. We are working day and night for you. All we need is you to stay home and stay safe."

You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Dr. Shah and all frontline workers who are going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.

If you know someone who is working for others, please share the story https://www.youhumanity.com/share-your-story

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