Choppers showering flowers on Bihar hospitals lifts mood of medics, patients alikeUpdated: May 03, 2020 22:35 IST
Doctors, nurses and other staff at the Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Patna were a delighted lot on Sunday as choppers showered flower petals atop their building as part of the exercise to express gratitude towards the front line warriors against the coronavirus pandemic.
The NMCH and AIIMS-Patna are among the four medical college hospitals dedicated to Covid-19 in the state.
Doctors, nurses, paramedics and housekeeping staff lined up at the two hospitals outside the outdoor patient department (OPD), while some stayed on terrace of indoor patient department (IPD), wearing hospital uniform and personal protective suit, and maintaining proper physical distancing, to acknowledge the gesture.
“It was an unprecedented and unimaginable gesture. They (personnel of the Indian armed forces) are the true warriors, but a situation has come up now where we (as doctors) have also been labelled as warriors. So, it was one warrior saluting another. It was undoubtedly a wonderful gesture which has boosted our morale further,” said Dr Prabhat Kumar Singh, director AIIMS-Patna.
At the NMCH, the first dedicated facility for Covid-19 positive cases in Bihar, the atmosphere was truly electric as the entire hospital staff, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and housekeeping employees, basked in the glory they all richly deserved for serving the patients day in and day out with a commendable recovery rate.
Attired in personal protective suit and wearing masks, they all took a small break to accept the respect the Indian armed forces showered on them from blue skies, waving Indian Tricolour, cheering, clapping and singing patriotic songs.
As the reverberating sound of the helicopters approached, all eyes were looking in the skies. The NMCH ground was full, with everyone apparently overwhelmed with emotions and eager to capture the moment in their mobile phones.
“It is a great morale booster for all those involved with healthcare in one way or the other. It is a big day for us. The symbolic appreciation for the healthcare staff from the Indian armed forces on such a scale is something we don’t remember having ever seen. It is a great feeling that the Indian armed forces and the people are looking to us with positivity,” said NMCH nodal officer Dr Ajay Kumar Sinha.
Sinha, flanked by doctors, said it was also time to realise that in the midst of pandemic, there was no place for negativity. “I am always optimistic that Coronavirus will also go, like it happened with other viral attacks in the past. But till it goes, everyone should maintain social distancing and encourage it as part of social responsibility,” he said.
Dr Mukul Kumar of the NMCH said it was a great honour for all healthcare personnel and it would remain etched in their memory for lifetime. “Indian forces are always on the front line, saving our borders. Their appreciation for us means a lot,” he added.
The nurses also seemed energised by the recognition, as they sang “Veer tum badhe chalo ...” as the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters showers flowers from above. “It was a fantastic feeling. It makes us feel special. We are discharging our responsibilities in the midst of the pandemic with full devotion, but we never expected such a big honour,” said senior nurse Mamta Sinha, Anuradha Chourasia and a group of nurses, overpowered by emotions.
The patients admitted at the hospital, too, seemed energised as they looked at the spectacle through the windows and singing paeans to the hospital staff for all the care. “Now I am more confident that my relative will be recovering soon to get back home. The doctors and healthcare staff deserved it, as they are the ones who are risking their lives to save others,” said Alok Kumar, who was outside the hospital at the gate.
Of the 119 Covid-19 patients to have recovered in Bihar so far, 64 were discharged from the NMCH and one from the AIIMS-Patna. The hospitals have reported two deaths each of Covid-19 patients.