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“Coronavirus Pandemic Is An Experience Of A Life-time”, Says 24-year-old Nurse From Delhi Who Was On COVID Duty For 3 Months

Meet 24-year-old Roji George, a staff nurse and a COVID warrior at Delhi’s Fortis Hospital who shares her experience of battling the pandemic from the frontlines for the first time

Coronavirus Pandemic Is An Experience Of A Life-time, Says 24-year-old Nurse From Delhi Who Was On COVID Duty For 3 Months
Highlights
  • 24-year-old Roji George has been working as a nurse for three years
  • Ms George was on COVID duty at Fortis Hospital for three months
  • At COVID duty, Ms George used to work for a week and rest for eight days

New Delhi: There is always a first time and the first time is always special. The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus has provided many ‘firsts’ to 24-year-old Roji George, a nurse at Fortis Hospital in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj. Resonating with the special feeling of ‘first’ and sharing her experience of working as a COVID warrior and battling the pandemic from the frontlines, Ms George said, “This pandemic is a life-time experience and I pray that this situation never comes again. While working on the frontline we witnessed the pain of families unable to meet their patients. Even after discharge from the hospital, patients have to continue to be in isolation. This whole experience has taught me to value life despite all the problems and to cherish and appreciate whatever we have in our life.”

Also Read: COVID Fighters: “Personal Protection Gear Is My Second Skin Now,” Says A Doctor Six Months Into Fighting The Coronavirus Pandemic

Ms George, a native of Kerala, has been in the medical profession for three years now. Her fight against the SARS-CoV-2 began on May 27 when she was deputed in a COVID ward to look after COVID-19 patients. Ms George was on COVID duty for three months until she was moved to ICU on September 1. It is only then she met her family. Talking about where she was staying all this while, Ms George said,

Coronavirus Pandemic Is An Experience Of A Life-time, Says 24-year-old Nurse From Delhi Who Was On COVID Duty For 3 Months

COVID warrior Roji George

We were provided a separate area in our nursing hostel to stay after COVID duty hours. At work, I followed all the guidelines and practised the lessons imparted to us during our training sessions on how to handle COVID patients. This is one of the reasons I am safe even after three months of COVID duty.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: Soon After Recovering From Coronavirus, This 40-Year-Old Sanitation Worker In Guwahati Resumes COVID Duty

To ensure the well-being of their medical staff, Fortis has a policy under which Ms George worked for seven days for six hours a day and was given eight days rest before resuming work. She believes that this break coupled with activities like yoga helped her deal with stress at work. Elaborating on the activities, Ms George said,

We were provided mentally engaging games to play, quizzes to participate; yoga and mental health sessions were organised for us. Food is my stress buster and we were provided with our favourite food in the hostel. These are small things but they really helped.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: This 42-Year-Old Ambulance Driver In Hyderabad Resumes Duty Within A Week Of Recovering From Coronavirus

Ms George agrees that it is difficult to battle COVID-19 especially when you are away from your family but she found her home away from home in her colleagues. She said,

Our nurses are from various parts of India and during the isolation, we grew fond of each other. We got to know their families, bumped into the frame when they were having video calls with their family, opened more and talked more. I am glad to have a team of colleagues who laugh with us even at a time of stress. It wasn’t easy to see the smile through personal protective equipment (PPE) kit but we could feel the smiles behind those masks.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: “We Have To Free India From Coronavirus,” Say Doctors Fighting The Pandemic

Further talking about the challenges that come with wearing PPE for six hours straight, Ms George said, initially, it was difficult but after a week, the body gets used to the additional layer. She also said that being in PPE was made easier by the nursing education department that regularly educated nurses and doctors on the correct way of wearing and doffing of PPE kit. She added,

The team created a video for us on how to use a PPE kit, self-explanatory posters were put up to remind us of the precautions to take while wearing and discarding a PPE.

Talking about how many patients she handled during the course of her COVID duty, Ms George said she doesn’t have a count of it but definitely remembers the first COVID-19 patient who lost his life and the first patient who defeated COVID-19.

The first patient we lost to COVID wasn’t well when he was admitted and his condition deteriorated gradually. Even after all our efforts, we lost him. However, there was another patient who fought the virus for a month and defeated COVID-19. It did raise our hopes and spirits, shared Ms George.

Also Read: COVID-19 Fighters: Dr Ajay Joshi Of Indore Died Of Coronavirus After Treating Over 700 Patients

During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical workers have got an additional job – to look after their patients not just physically but mentally as well. COVID patients are neither allowed to meet their families nor have a mobile phone with them. What adds to this is the fear of developing a serious condition. Explaining how she motivates patients and supports them, Ms George said,

Other than providing medical care we talk to our patients. We make sure that those who can walk get to interact with their family via a video call from a dedicated room. We take an extra step for patients who are unable to communicate with their families. We place their family photo beside them; on occasions like birthday, anniversaries or festivals we make sure to wish them on behalf of the family. In challenging cases, we say prayers in front of patients and continue to believe that we can heal them.

Before signing off, Ms George urged people to follow COVID-19 precautionary and preventive measures issued by the government and said,

You have got one life, treasure it. Don’t take your health lightly. It doesn’t matter how old you are, focus on eating and living a healthy life. Also, the Coronavirus crisis is still looming large. Don’t let your guard down; if you do so, you can infect many more.

Also Read: 40-year-old COVID Warrior From Kolkata Believes We Can Win COVID-19 Battle By Taking Precautions

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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

23,96,06,768Cases
20,13,42,617Active
3,33,82,100Recovered
48,82,051Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,96,06,768 and 48,82,051 have died; 20,13,42,617 are active cases and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 4:15 am.

India

3,40,37,592 16,862Cases
2,03,6782,908Active
3,33,82,100 19,391Recovered
4,51,814 379Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,37,592 confirmed cases including 4,51,814 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,03,678 and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,86,280 2,384

33,157 6

64,13,418 2,343

1,39,705 35

Kerala

48,29,944 9,246

96,421 1,802

47,06,856 10,952

26,667 96

Karnataka

29,82,399 310

9,607 43

29,34,870 347

37,922 6

Tamil Nadu

26,83,396 1,259

15,451 199

26,32,092 1,438

35,853 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,122 540

6,588 27

20,38,248 557

14,286 10

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,008 12

135 4

16,86,976 16

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,012 530

7,576 81

15,52,491 601

18,945 10

Delhi

14,39,311 28

337 1

14,13,885 29

25,089

Odisha

10,33,809 521

4,890 38

10,20,645 477

8,274 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,614 16

203 4

9,91,841 20

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,382 8

42 6

9,45,386 2

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,244 34

215 20

8,15,943 14

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,669 12

111 1

7,82,035 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,035 16

105 158

7,60,881

10,049 174

Bihar

7,26,016 8

42 6

7,16,313 2

9,661

Telangana

6,68,618 168

4,171 40

6,60,512 207

3,935 1

Assam

6,05,847 207

3,646 157

5,96,263 362

5,938 2

Punjab

6,01,971 33

234 11

5,85,199 16

16,538 6

Jharkhand

3,48,406 11

130 4

3,43,141 7

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,729 28

175 22

3,36,157 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,834 93

935 11

3,25,473 104

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,113 182

1,387 5

2,16,011 173

3,715 4

Goa

1,77,356 68

679 27

1,73,342 39

3,335 2

Puducherry

1,27,259 49

647 4

1,24,763 53

1,849

Manipur

1,22,432 69

1,444 15

1,19,099 84

1,889

Mizoram

1,10,719 901

13,601 435

96,744 1,332

374 4

Tripura

84,295 4

110 8

83,369 12

816

Meghalaya

82,734 87

892 31

80,411 115

1,431 3

Chandigarh

65,295 10

32 5

64,443 15

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,958 4

202 22

54,476 26

280

Sikkim

31,722 6

224 1

31,108 7

390

Nagaland

31,516 9

230 8

30,613 17

673

Ladakh

20,867 6

44 2

20,615 4

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 1

10,668 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

2 0

10,312

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,640 3

10 1

7,501 2

129

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