PANAJI: As Goa notched a zero COVID-19 record on Sunday, after the last of the seven active cases tested negative, Edwin Gomes, nodal officer for the state's designated facility for coronavirus treatment, has emerged as the face of the state's fightback.
The 58-year-old Head of the Medicine department at the state's only medical college, the Goa Medical College, Gomes' efforts at co-ordinating the front-lines of the COVID-19 fight and the successful treatment of all seven patients yet, has earned him a pat on the back from Health Minister Vishwajit Rane himself.
"My deepest gratitude to our warriors, the excellent team of doctors headed by Dr. Edwin Gomes at Employee State (Insurance) Hospital for working tirelessly to counter the menace of the deadly virus," Rane said.
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Oscar Rebelo, a renowned city physician who worked with Gomes at the medical college in the past, said that the latter should get a 100 out of 100 for the sheer effort he has put in getting COVID-19 positive patients back on track, especially at the age of 58 years, when the risk of contracting the virus is relatively higher.
"As doctors, all of us may or may not be exposed to the virus, by virtue of examining our patients. But with Edwin and his team, they were 100 per cent exposed to the virus at the COVID hospital," Dr. Rebelo said.
"He was one year junior to me (at the medical college). He is a sincere fellow devoted to his work. It needs guts to work in the COVID hospital, where you are surrounded with the virus all the time," Shekhar Salkar, former president of the Goa unit of the Indian Medical Association also said.
Gomes, as the nodal official in-charge of the desinated COVID-19 hospital, led three teams of medical professionals, including junior consultant doctors, nurses and support staff, who worked in shifts.
The state's first active case of COVID-19 to be cured, Edgar Remedios has said, that it was not just the medicine, but the manner in which Gomes puts you at ease, which is also a part of his healing potion.
"Dr. Gomes is the one who resurrected me. To put me at ease, he himself would take an anxiety tablet with me, because he was also under stress. He just calmed my nerves. I have great gratitude for me," Remedios said.