- Head nurse Victoria Jayamani was put on a ventilator, but could not survive
- Victoria was on COVID duties despite having high BP, diabetes: Nurse Pushpa
- Victoria always put patients first and was always smiling: Nurse Pushpa
New Delhi: Victoria Jayamani, a 58-years-old Head Nurse at Government General and Chest Hospital (GGCH) in Hyderabad, Telangana, was set to retire in July after over 30-year nursing career. But just a few days before she could complete her term, she contracted the novel coronavirus while taking care of COVID-19 patients and succumbed to the disease on June 26. According to an official of the Department of Health and Family Welfare of Telangana, she was the first healthcare worker to lose her life to COVID-19 in Telangana.
Sister Victoria tested positive for coronavirus on June 17 after which she was treated at the Government General and Chest Hospital for two days. However, because she was also a diabetic patient, her condition started worsening and so she was admitted to Gandhi General Hospital in Hyderabad for COVID-19 treatment where she was put on a ventilator on the eighth day of her treatment, but she could not survive.
The dedicated nurse who spent more than three decades of her life working at Government General and Chest Hospital caring for patients is survived by her husband and her two children- a son and a married daughter, both of whom doted on her immensely. Sister Victoria’s husband had also tested positive for the virus and has recovered from it.
A colleague of 30 years and a family friend Pushpa, also a senior nurse at GGCH said that Sister Victoria was known for her radiant smile and jolly nature within the hospital community. Sharing how Sister Victoria left lasting impressions on people, she said,
Sister Victoria Jayamani loved to socialise. She was kind, generous and a contagious laugh. Even during hard times, she used to smile and stay calm. Her job was very important to her as she loved her work. She always put patients first, even on the days she herself was sad or not feeling well. She was popular, inspiring and much loved and respected by her team. She always provided us with guidance like an elder sister. She has left an important legacy.
She further said that Sister Victoria was posted to a COVID ward for a few shifts before she contracted the virus. She added that even though the Head Nurse was old and had comorbidities, she did not hesitate in serving COVID-19 patients. She added,
Sister Victoria is greatly missed by all hospital staff members.
Another colleague Nurse Nimarama paid Sister Victoria a tribute saying that her contribution to nursing and dedication to patient care will not be forgotten. She said,
It was an honour to have worked with her.
While the state government praised her services and assured all help to the family of the nurse, Sister Pushpa said that the family faced a hard time getting a decent place of burial for her. The cemeteries attached to main Churches of Hyderabad refused the burial of a COVID-19 patient and it was only after much running around that the family found a government-sanctioned burial ground for Christians.
Sister Pushpa said, Our loving friend gave herself up serving the humanity and in the end, she was not given the due respect that she deserved.
According to Sister Nimarama, an increasing number of frontline health workers are getting infected by the virus and are being quarantined. She raised concerns regarding the conditions of COVID wards and said,
The COVID wards in the hospital are not properly ventilated and some days ago, in a ward of 120 beds, over 150 patients were admitted. Patients had no choice but to share the bed with another patient. The nurses are under tremendous pressure due to COVID-19. They are required to be in contact with the patient for much longer than doctors. The sisters on night duty serve a shift of 12 hours wearing Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs). It is exhausting physically and mentally. We cannot afford to lose our nurses.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.