HT Salutes: This nurse travels 30 kms to look after Covid patients

Published on Apr 13, 2020 02:59 AM IST

Nurse Bimlesh Kain comes to the hospital and changes into a brown salwar kameez, her uniform. When she has to go into the Covid-19 ward, she wears the personal protective equipment (PPE) – a full body suit, head cover, gloves, goggles, and shoe covers.

Bimlesh Kain travels almost 30km everyday from her home in Rohini to report for duty at 8am.(HT Photo)
Bimlesh Kain travels almost 30km everyday from her home in Rohini to report for duty at 8am.(HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

“It is our duty, how can we be scared? We will keep coming to the hospital and ensure that all of the patients are healthy and comfortable till the last patient has gone home,” she said. She is one of the 1,000 healthcare workers engaged in the care of Covid-19 patients at the city’s biggest isolation facility in Lok Nayak hospital.

At present, the standalone Covid-19 hospital has 602 positive and suspected patients admitted. It is gearing up to create space for 2,000 such patients.

Every day she travels almost 30km from her home in Rohini to report for duty at 8am.

She comes to the hospital and changes into a brown salwar kameez, her uniform. When she has to go into the Covid-19 ward, she wears the personal protective equipment (PPE) – a full body suit, head cover, gloves, goggles, and shoe covers.

The rising temperatures will only make her job more difficult. “Earlier the hospital was planning on longer shifts, but we have stuck to three eight-hour shifts. It is very hot, making it difficult to stay in so many layers of the PPE. Plus, we cannot switch on the air-conditioning as it might lead to the virus circulating across the hospital. As the temperature rises it is going to be more difficult,” she said.

She recounts the incident in the Covid-19 ward when the first batch of about 80 suspected Covid-19 cases were brought from the airport to the hospital.

“They were irritable because they had not anticipated the 14-day quarantine. And, at the time, we did not know we would have so many patients. The hospital was in the process of purchasing things like buckets, soaps, toothbrush and paste, packs of biscuits for all of them, but it was taking time. I remember, we all pooled in money and got some of the supplies from shops nearby to ensure they faced no problems,” said Kain.

She heads the team of nurses that take care of the Covid-19 patients. “Not only do I have to ensure that all the patients are comfortable and looked after, I also have to make sure my nurses are safe. I have to ensure that when they are staying away from their families, they have a good place to live in and get nutritious food,” she said. The staff working inside the Covid-19 wards work for 14 days at a stretch before remaining in quarantine for the next 14 days.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anonna Dutt is a health reporter at Hindustan Times. She reports on Delhi government’s health policies, hospitals in Delhi, and health-related feature stories.

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