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Both Frontline Warriors, This Couple Miss Spending Time With Daughter As They Battle With COVID-19 Pandemic

Mintu Kalita, a staff nurse at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital along with her husband Mridul Deka, a pharmacist at COVID Super Specialty Hospital, Guwahati, has been fighting COVID-19 pandemic from the frontline since March

COVID Fighters: Both Frontline Warriors, This Couple Miss Spending Time With Daughter As They Battle With Coronavirus Pandemic
Highlights
  • Ms. Kalita was in the team that cared for the first COVID-19 case of Assam
  • Mr. Deka contracted coronavirus in the line of duty
  • After recovering from COVID-19, he donated 2 units of blood for plasma

New Delhi: Mintu Kalita, 39-year-old staff nurse in ICU ward at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and her husband Mridul Deka, 45-year-old pharmacist at COVID Super Specialty Hospital, Guwahati, Assam have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic from the frontline since March. For this corona warrior-couple, the past seven months of the pandemic have been life-changing, on both personal and professional front. They have hardly spent any quality time with their10-year-old daughter Ragini during these months, putting their duty first. Both work grueling 8-hour rotational shifts.

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

While sharing her experience with NDTV, Ms. Kalita, who was also a part of the team that cared for the first COVID-19 patient of Assam said that every month for seven days, she has duty in COVID ward after which for seven days, she is required to spend in institutional quarantine, in a guest house or a hotel. After a gap of one day, she works in general ICU (Intensive Care Unit) ward for the next 14 days. She said,

Every month for at least 14 days, I don’t get to see my family at all as I spend seven days in the hospital guest house when I am assigned COVID-19 duties and the next seven days I stay in self- quarantine in a hotel. It is only during the days I have duty in general ICU ward that I get to stay at home after the shift. But at home also, I stay in a room separate from my family in order to ensure that my daughter and my mother, who has been staying at our home and taking care of my daughter, stay safe.

Mr. Deka who was earlier working at GMCH, was shifted to the pharmacy of COVID Super Specialty Hospital in March. While working there, he contracted coronavirus and tested positive on July 1. He was admitted to the COVID hospital for 10 ten days. He tested negative on July 11 and after staying in quarantine for 14 days, he re-joined work and donated two units of his blood at the Plasma Bank of GMCH for plasma.

Also Read: Fight Against Coronavirus: 100-year-old Woman Beats COVID-19 In Assam

While talking about his experience of contracting COVID-19, treatment and post-recovery period, Mr. Deka said that since he was working in a high-risk setting, he was already mentally prepared for the worst. He said,

Since my wife has been working in the COVID-19 ward from the beginning of the pandemic in Assam, I was quite familiar with the protocols and standard operating procedures. On June 30, when I started experiencing body ache and fever, I knew that I was infected. That evening, I went to the hospital for my night shift along with my luggage, enough for at least ten days. I got myself tested that evening and was diagnosed with ‘symptomatic COVID-19’ the next day. The doctors admitted me immediately and started the treatment. Within 4-5 days, I started to recover. My fever had gone and body ache also started to recede. After testing negative on Day 11, I went home and utilised my 14-day quarantine period in rebuilding my strength by eating healthy and taking up some breathing exercises and light yoga.

For Mr. Deka and Ms. Kalita, a day at work starts right after reaching their respective hospitals. While Mr. Deka is required to wear an N-95 mask, a pair of gloves and a surgical cap, Ms. Kalita needs to put on the full set of personal protective equipment that includes a hazmat suit (hazardous materials suit) which is an impermeable body suit, face mask, face shield and a pair of goggles. She said that once the PPE is put on, she is not allowed to eat, drink or use the toilet during the eight-hour shift.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: After Beating COVID-19 This 45-Year-Old Lab Technician Donates His Plasma

Since most days in a month, the couple work in different shifts, they barely get time to talk to each other at home because as one comes back from their shift, the other person is getting ready to go to work.

Mr. Deka and Ms. Kalita say that their families have been supportive right from the beginning. Ms. Kalita said,

I am very thankful to both our parents for encouraging us to do our duty diligently and supporting us by taking care of our daughter whenever required. Since past 5-6 months, my mother has been helping us by staying with our daughter for days at a stretch. She has put her household secondary in order to support us during these tough times.

The duo is also very proud of their daughter who, they say, ‘has grown up suddenly’ and supports them in her own way. Ms. Kalita said,

Ragini makes sure that every day before each of us reach home, there is hot water outside the house for us to wash ourselves and our belongings. She has been quite prompt and sincere in doing her homework and attending online classes too.

As the country continues to see a surge in cases, the couple urge people to not take the pandemic lightly. In their message to the readers, they said,

We would like to urge the public to go out only when necessary and when out, please follow social distancing strictly and wear mask. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Please try to keep yourself safe as much as possible and by following these basic precautions, you will be able to reduce our burden and contribute in the fight against the pandemic.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: Over 300 Healthcare Workers In Assam Queued Up To Donate Plasma To Save More Lives

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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