Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday praised doctors, nurses and health care workers who he said are putting up “great efforts” in the wake of the novel coronavirus infection.
He also retweeted posts by users who lauded the government’s response to the outbreak, saying India is doing its best “to ensure everyone is healthy and those showing symptoms get proper care”.
“Our doctors, nurses, healthcare workers are putting great efforts. They are out there, helping people. We will always cherish their contribution. #IndiaFightsCorona,” Modi said in one of his tweets.
The government has stepped up screening of passengers at airports, while the health sector is testing suspected patients, treating those infected and even conducting door-to-door surveys to keep tabs on people with a history of international travel.
A data entry officer from southeast Delhi’s Sunlight Colony dispensary, who did not want to be named, explained how a typical workday unfolds.
“Every morning we leave from the dispensary at 9 am for the door-to-door survey with a list of international travellers. We have to go verify their travel history, their numbers, and see whether they are taking all precautions. We wear masks and gloves and stand at a distance when we speak to them,” he said.
All dispensary staff, including those at clerical posts, go for these home visits in accordance with a directive by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.
The staff also shares information about the disease with people who visit their dispensary.
“Because of the internet and news (on Covid-19), most people are aware that there is a disease on the prowl, but we tell them about the precautions. Apart from hand-washing practices, we also tell people who are right-handed to touch a surface, such as doorknobs, with their left hand. It’s not possible to wash the hands all the time,” said another staff from the dispensary.
A network of 262 dispensaries in Delhi has been working to prevent community transmission, which takes place when a person tests positive for the disease but the doctors are not able to trace the source of infection.
A nurse working in the isolation ward of Safdarjung hospital, where several suspected and confirmed patients have been treated, said, “We just have to follow strict infection-control measures so that we do not pass on the infection to our family and friends.”
A nurse from RML hospital, the second nodal hospital in Delhi for virus patients, agreed.
A doctor at Safdarjung’s isolation ward, who too did not want to be named, listed the precautions she takes. “I wash my clothes and take a hot shower before interacting with my family. I also carry only essentials to the hospital.”
On Monday, PM Modi said people sharing their stories are “boosting the morale” of those on the field. “Many people are highlighting different aspects of how India is combating Covid-19. This is boosting the morale of all those doctors, nurses, municipal workers, airport staff and all other remarkable people at the forefront of fighting Covid-19. #IndiaFightsCorona,” he tweeted.
Modi asked people to share technology-driven solutions to the virus. “Harnessing innovation for a healthier planet. A lot of people have been sharing technology-driven solutions for COVID-19. I would urge them to share them on @mygovindia,” he said.