Meet Chandmal Jingar, a Covid-19 warrior from Rajasthan’s Bhilwara
Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district was one of the first Covid-19 clusters to be identified in the country and was placed under total lockdown by the state government to contain the spread of coronavirus.Updated: Apr 13, 2020 14:19 IST
For nearly 10 days, Chandmal Jingar had no contact with his family while he worked as a nurse at the Covid-19 ward of the district hospital in Bhilwara, often skipping meals as he cared for people infected by the coronavirus.
Jingar,41, sang songs and cracked jokes to keep everyone’s morale high as he looked after the patients in the hospital located in an area hit hard by the coronavirus.
When his wife and children told him to get himself shifted to some other ward in the hospital, Jingar assured his family there was no need to worry and it was the duty of every health worker to take responsibility for serving the people.
Sharing his experiences at the Covid-19 ward, Jingar said it was on the evening of March 17 that a doctor from Bhilwara district was admitted to Mahatma Gandhi Hospital with symptoms of being infected by the coronavirus. Three days later, he tested positive and a special Covid-19 ward was created in the hospital. The number of patients had increased by this time.
“By March 20, fear and panic about the virus had gripped the city as the number of positive case reached about 20 in a few days. Before the Covid-19 ward, my duty was in the OT,” he said.
“On March 20, I met the nursing superintendent and requested him to shift me to the Covid-19 ward. The reason behind the request was that to fight any disease, you need to boost confidence and positivity among patients and I was sure I could do that.”
From March 22, Jingar started working in the Covid-19 ward, with his shift lasting from 7.30am to 4pm. “At 7am, I would reach the hospital. The first thing I did was wash my hands, wear gloves and then the personal protective equipment (PPE) kit.
“By 7.30am, I would enter the ward, take readings of the patients and give them medicines according to the doctor’s recommendation. I would ensure every single thing inside was sanitised and cleaned at regular intervals,” he said.
After 4pm, Jingar would remove the PPE kit, put it in a solution of hypochlorite, and later it would be decomposed. After duty, he would go to a nursing hostel where he lived with other colleagues in quarantine.
In the evenings, Jingar would talk to his family, including his wife Geeta, a teacher in a government school, his 14-year-old son Vaibhav and his 8-year-old daughter Pratibha.
“Initially, my kids were afraid but later they started boosting my confidence as they got to know their dad is a corona warrior and is serving the people,” Jingar said.
The morale of the staff of the Covid-19 ward was affected when two elderly patients died on consecutive days because of multiple organ failure, even though the cause of their death wasn’t Covid-19.
“After the deaths, a few of my colleagues and I would sing songs, crack jokes and talk about spiritual things to make the ambiance of the ward positive. One of our videos went viral, which lightened the environment of the ward and helped us in changing the mindset of the patients,” said Jingar.
Within a few days the positive cases tested negative. “Now, we have only one patient in the Covid-19 ward, which was once the epicentre of positive patients. I am sure this patient will also turn negative,” he said.
“Anyone who is detected for Covid-19 shouldn’t panic as it can be overcome through a combination of medicines, precaution and will power,” he said.
On April 1, Jingar went to meet his family after getting permission from his seniors, and he returned to his duties at the Covid-19 ward three days later.
Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district was one of the first Covid-19 clusters to be identified in the country and was placed under total lockdown by the state government to contain the spread of coronavirus.
From being a hot spot, Bhilwara, about 250km south of state capital Jaipur, is now being talked about for its “ruthless containment” model and administrations elsewhere are following the steps taken by the district’s authorities.