- Dr Ajay Joshi treated over 700 COVID-19 patients in Indore
- Dr Joshi had co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes and kidney issues
- Dr Joshi lost his life to the virus on June 9 in Indore
New Delhi: Indore-based 57-year-old surgeon and senior doctor, Ajay Joshi had been practising medicine for nearly 3 decades. A specialist in surgery, he was the Head Of Department of Surgery at Indore’s Medical Superintendent Index Medical College since 2000. When the pandemic hit Indore in April, Index Medical College was converted into a full-fledged COVID-19 hospital. Index Medical College is one of the oldest and most renowned medical college and hospital in Madhya Pradesh.
As the head of the department, Dr Joshi led a team of doctors, fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the city. Indore became one of the major hotspots and worst-hit district of Madhya Pradesh by mid-April. The hospitals in the city, including Index Medical college, saw an outpour of COVID-19 patients both from the city itself and nearby cities and small towns, like Ujjain, Dewas, among others.
Index Medical College was converted into a COVID hospital right before the lockdown was imposed on March 24. And at the peak of the virus outbreak in the city in May, the hospital treated many patients at once.
In the hospital, there were quite a few issues to deal with and prepare for. As the patients admitted rose in number, staff and doctors were putting in 15- hours in a day to treat them.
Witnessing such an outpour of patients and long working hours amid a highly contagious virus, doctors had to be in their Personal Protective Equipment throughout their shift. Sometimes it’s even difficult for them to drink water or use the toilet as a protocol for wearing PPE. Healthcare workers were always on their toes, helping the patients at the hospital.
During the peak of this pandemic in the city, Dr Joshi helped more than 700 patients recover with his treatment. However, the other harsh reality to deal wit was those treating the patients themselves falling prey to the disease, despite all the precautions, like PPE kits, providing sanitisers though the hospitals, frequently disinfecting the doctors’ area, among others.
Dr Joshi was leading the fight against COVID from the front. He would see hundreds of patients on a daily basis and working for 15-16 hours shifts, staying on-campus housing, as he had to quarantine to help prevent his family from catching the virus. from his family.
He has prevalent co-morbid conditions including diabetes and hypertension, and he was also suffering from chronic kidney disease called power renal illness, for a very long time. All of these made him a vulnerable candidate to catch the coronavirus. But that did not deter Dr Joshi. A spokesperson from Index Medical College, told NDTV,
Dr Joshi had tested positive for the coronavirus on May 23. As per our records, under Dr Joshi’s leadership, his team of medical staff cured over 700 coronavirus patients since the pandemic broke out in the city. We had reminded him of his co-morbid conditions and urged him to prioritise his health, but he insisted that it is his duty to treat patients who are suffering now more than ever.
After testing positive for coronavirus on May 23, Dr Joshi was admitted to the city’s Choithram Hospital the next day. His condition showed little improvement owing to his underlying health condition. He was eventually shifted to the ICU on May 29.
He was admitted to the hospital on May 24 and was shifted to ICU on May 29. Since then, Dr Joshi’s condition kept on deteriorating in the ICU and after battling for his life for 10 days, he passed away on June 9, Deputy Director (Health Services), Choithram Hospital Dr Amit Bhatt said.
Dr Joshi pursued his medical studies in Raipur and he returned to Indore in 1996. Dr Deepti remembers him as someone who never once put his needs before his patients and was always a call away to help them.
She says that even during the two months where he was on the frontline of fighting COVID-19 patients, Dr Joshi hardly stuck to his clock and was sometimes at the hospital for more than 15 hours, including weekends.
Dr Joshi always encouraged everyone to help the administration in combating the coronavirus pandemic, the spokesperson said.
Talking about Dr Joshi’s family, she tells NDTV,
His family has his wife, a son and a daughter, who is still coping the loss of their beloved father. Recently while talking to his son, he told me that the whole family wants to remember him as a warrior, who despite knowing the risks to his life, put others’ life before his own.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan also condoled the death of Dr Joshi as he took to Twitter to express his sadness.
Dr Ajay Joshi of Indore’s Index Medical College contracted the virus while serving other infected patients. His untimely death saddens me. May God give strength to the family and peace to the departed soul, CM Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.
सीएम श्री @ChouhanShivraj ने इंदौर के इंडेक्स मेडिकल कॉलेज के सर्जरी विभाग के HOD, डॉ. अजय जोशी की मौत पर दुःख जताते हुए श्रद्धांजलि दी। ड्यूटी के दौरान डॉ. जोशी कोरोना संक्रमण की चपेट में आ गए थे। सरकार कर्तव्यपथ पर डटे रहकर प्राण गंवाने वाले डॉक्टर के परिजनों के साथ खड़ी है।
— CMO Madhya Pradesh (@CMMadhyaPradesh) June 9, 2020
Dr Joshi was one of the four doctors and eight nurses from Index hospital who tested positive for coronavirus in May. Lakhs of frontline warriors have put the lives of others before their own in the country as they are selflessly fighting COVID-19. Recently Indian Medical Association called for an intense review for updating of all administrative setups in the hospital including the infection control protocols, as 99 doctors have lost their lives fighting against COVID-19 in the country.
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.