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63-year-old, Dr Shirish Chavan with his four physicians, is managing a 50-bed COVID-dedicated unit at Wanless Mission Hospital at Sangli after 21 days of treatment for coronavirus and one week of home isolation.
The senior doctor, who is from Miraj in Sangli district, was at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Bharati hospital in Pune and required high-flow nasal oxygen for a week.
Dr Chavan told The Indian Express that it was a long and very difficult journey for 21 days. He runs the Dadasaheb Chavan Memorial Hospital at Miraj but had to temporarily shut the hospital as he tested positive for the coronavirus and all of the staff went into quarantine.
Dr Chavan said that he had taken hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic for almost 5 weeks. After testing positive for COVID-19, his son, who is also a doctor, decided to take him and other family members to Bharati hospital in Pune. Investigations revealed oxygen saturation levels were very low with persistent fever and body ache. He was given 5 vials of remdesivir injection and tocilizumab but the cytokine storm continued. The CT scan reports also showed that both lungs were affected and remdesivir was continued for next 10 days. As his fever decreased but the inflammatory markers were increasing and he was de-saturating on slightest physical activities. Talking was not easy, also bowel and bladder evacuation was a challenge.
He said the critical care team at Bharati hospital, Pune saved him and delivered immense physical and moral support. After his exhaustive experience he realized that the coronavirus was going to stay and it had to be faced some day or the other.
Therefore, with a team of physicians, he started to pull patients through this critical period with an aim to send out a positive message.
A 59-year-old consulting physician at Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, had recovered from COVID-19 after a long duration and has started to attend the coronavirus patients in the ward. The doctor choose to remain anonymous but said that even if it takes a little longer in close proximity to a patient in the ward, the doctor tries to counsel those patients who felt extremely depressed and think that they would never recover.
Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of the action committee of the Indian Medical Association, said that there is a growing list of senior doctors throughout hospitals, who were infected and have now recovered and are already returning to attend COVID duty.
President (city unit) of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Prashant Munde, said that at Sassoon General Hospital, at least 35 resident doctors had mild to moderate symptoms. They have recovered and are back at the wards to treat coronavirus patients.
In the state, a total of 3,510 healthcare employees are infected, out of them 2,612 have recovered. Among the infected healthcare workers 933 are doctors, 903 workers are nurses, and 1,674 are other healthcare staff. At least 10 doctors, 2 nurses and 33 healthcare workers have died, according to Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer.
The novel coronavirus is known to be fatal for people aged more than 60 years and also for those with comorbid conditions. On a positive note, there is a growing number of patients recovering from the coronavirus infection. At least 3,065 patients, who had recovered from COVID-19, are above 80 years of age whereas another 345 are above 90 years old. Two people who had recovered were centenarians, one from Sangli and the other one from Aurangabad. An investigation of 2.48 lakh recovered patients have shown that more than 24,000 people are aged between 60 and 69 years, whereas more than 10,250 people are between 70 and 79 years.
Source: The Indian Express