Indian-American Sikh doctor returns to roots to assist in Covid fight
As the nation struggles to contain a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, this 34-year-old Indian-American Sikh doctor has returned to his roots and is doing his bit in defeating the virus.
Harmandeep Singh Boparai, who was working as frontline worker in New York, Unites States, is currently treating Covid patients in his home town Amritsar.
His next stop will be a 1,000-bed hospital in Mumbai, where he has been roped in by Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organisation. He is scheduled to leave for Mumbai on Monday and will serve at the facility for the next couple of weeks.
A specialist in anaesthesiology and critical care, Dr Harman, who did his MBBS in Amritsar Government Medical College before moving to New York in 2011, has also imparted training to many doctors and nurses in the holy city, especially at Dukh Niwaran Hospital, at par with the modalities being used in New York hospitals. He returned to India on April 1 this year.
Harman says he would continue extending his help to all those in need until the situation becomes normal in India. His father, RPS Boparai, is an orthopaedic specialist, while his mother, late Gian Kaur, was a gynaecologist. Harman said his mother, who passed away in 2011, had inculcated the value of sewa (volunteer service) in him during his childhood and young age.
“As soon as I came back to India, though the cases were not so high at the time, I started talking to the doctors here on how we can build capacity in case cases surge, apart from strengthening the infrastructure to handle any kind of crisis. Soon enough, we saw a catastrophic rises in the cases in India. I have been able to build a capacity for intensive care at Dukh Niwaran Hospital, besides imparting training to the nurses and doctors regarding the Covid protocol that I learnt in New York during the first wave,” Harman said.
Dukh Niwaran Hospital, which has now been given on lease, was run by Harman’s father as a charitable hospital.
Sharing his views on India’s Covid situation, he said, “We have not been able to contain the spread of the virus for various reasons here, even though we had time to prepare for the bad waves as were seen across the world earlier. We could have vaccinated many more people so far. But, due to issues in the system, help couldn’t reach many in time.”
He said, “Doctors in the health department, especially in Punjab, have been working so hard in order to save lives. We must continue to support them and give them our best wishes and solidarity, for this is not an easy job.”
He also advocated imposing lockdown to break the chain of transmission.