BENGALURU: "We cannot drink water, nor have our food for 12 long hours once we wear the PPE," said Dr Ranjitha (name changed) who has finished serving the COVID-19 patients for seven long days and is now out in a small room near by to the hospital to quarantine herself for the next two weeks.
Dr Ranjitha is one amongst several doctors who have been working day and night to ensure that cover 19 positive patients in Karnataka recover fast and get back to their homes safely. Presently, at many isolation hospitals, one set of people have come out and have gone into quarantine. The next batch has entered into the cover 19 ward. Speaking to TNIE, one such doctor who is now on quarantine said, "we have been advised to take extra care and caution when treating patients. We cannot drink water, nor eat for 12 hours once we wear the PPE. It is a very strict procedure to follow as there are high risks of contamination and we have to be careful about it," said a doctor
However, there is tremendous risk we face, they say. "We know it's our duty but honestly its too draining also. If there were more personnels then we could work in shifts of six hours may be. 12 hours is too much. Many of us have dark circles under our eyes and we are worn out by the time we finish our one week shift," said a doctor on condition of anonymity.
Health care professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus battle are struggling against forces that are out of their control. The risk of getting infected themselves is also a worry on their minds,
"I'm afraid too. I'm afraid to go to work. It's not just me but my families also I will be putting under risk. But I know I have to do this for my country for my people," said a young doctor from Victoria Hospital who's now entering the cover 19 ward.
Meanwhile, speaking about wearing the mask and PPEs the doctors said it is difficult to wear a mask for 12 hours continuously.
"I am physically tired because the protective devices are bad, the lab coat makes you sweat and once dressed I can no longer go to the bathroom or drink for 12 hours," Dr Ranjitha explained. Not only is she physically exhausted, she is "psychologically tired," she said. However, the medical fraternity said,"we are doing our bit you please do yours and stay home. I cannot afford to remain in home quarantine but you can. Please maintain social distance," the staff pleaded.