Staff take off or wear their personal protective suits: A cumbersome process that takes 45 minutes.(Ravi Kumar/HT photo)
Staff take off or wear their personal protective suits: A cumbersome process that takes 45 minutes.(Ravi Kumar/HT photo)

Armed for attack: This is what Chandigarh’s Covid combat zone looks like

This is where high-octane action happens every day. Hindustan Times lensman Ravi Kumar takes in the sights and sounds of the Covid Care Centre in Chandigarh at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Ravi Kumar, Chandigarh:
UPDATED ON OCT 08, 2020 11:37 PM IST

Unfailingly, unhesitatingly, they face innumerable dangers every day. For the doctors, nurses, ward boys and other staff in city hospitals, every second spent caring for their patients exposes them to the risk of contracting coronavirus – one they are very well aware of. The fear that they could be carrying the virus back home to their loved ones: Parents, spouses or children, does not stop them from turning up day after day, ready to take on the battle to save lives and win the war against the deadly pandemic.

The 410-bed Covid Care unit at Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research is one of the largest facilities in the region with over 1,000 admissions since March.

A young healthcare professional puts a tape over her nose to keep her face mask in place before she starts her shift. (Ravi Kumar)
A young healthcare professional puts a tape over her nose to keep her face mask in place before she starts her shift. (Ravi Kumar)

A majority of the patients, doctors say, have recovered.

The centre caters to patients with serious co-morbid conditions so over a 100 doctors coming in daily have to handle cases of dialysis, heart ailments and other interventions, apart from coronavirus.

Most of the staff members have to complete six-hour shifts a day in personal protective equipment (PPE) that cannot be removed during duty hours – no, not even for toilet breaks – and can get more than uncomfortable in stuffy wards with no air-conditioning.

Masks and suits come on: Medicos and other staff are required to keep their suits on for six hours. Even toilet breaks are not permitted. (Ravi Kumar)
Masks and suits come on: Medicos and other staff are required to keep their suits on for six hours. Even toilet breaks are not permitted. (Ravi Kumar)

Donning and doffing of PPEs at the centre’s crowded changing stations is difficult, requiring at least 45 minutes.

Those of us complaining about remaining confined indoors, unable to attend weddings or parties have it easy as we have to stay safe only to protect ourselves. Think about these brave men and women doing everything possible to save others. Let’s behave responsibly then and don’t add to their burden

Two doctors with face shields and masks on their way to check on patients with kidney problems. (Ravi Kumar)
Two doctors with face shields and masks on their way to check on patients with kidney problems. (Ravi Kumar)
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