732 doctors have tested Covid-19 positive in the country so far, while three have died
The importance of doctors during the coronavirus pandemic cannot be overstated. These frontline workers are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis to help others survive.
As many as 732 doctors have tested positive for coronavirus infection in the country so far, as per Bangladesh Doctors’ Foundation Chief Administrator Dr Nirupam Das. Some of them have recovered, some are still fighting, while three have lost their lives.
At just 24, Tahmid Zaman Bishor is one of our precious frontline heroes who has survived his coronavirus infection.
Tahmid is working as an intern doctor at the Medicine Unit of Sir Salimullah Medical College and Mitford Hospital.
Tahmid talked about the psychological strain that comes with this contagious disease.
When an infected person thinks of himself as a moving biohazard, it creates a big mental stress on him because he can unwittingly spread the virus, said Tahmid.
“Reducing mental stress is an important factor for fighting off the infection,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
He said: “I tested positive for Covid-19 on April 22 and the very first thing I did was inform my family. They were shocked at first but later helped me to make myself calm and collected."
“Many of us [doctors] living in the same hostel were infected after that and we fought the infection together. Our hospital authority took great care of us and provided all kinds of support. Two of us were hospitalized due to oxygen saturation problems and other complications,” he added.
Talking about treatment, Tahmid said they took medicines including antibiotics as per the doctor’s suggestion.
“We also maintained a healthy diet which included citrus fruits. We were also told to stay relaxed, and do some physical exercise so that the respiratory system worked properly,” he further informed.
On May 2, Tahmid won the battle against Covid-19 and received the negative test result. He requested everyone to stay inside their homes, excluding emergency situations.
Patients' secrecy putting doctors at risk
Dr KM Nazmul Islam, assistant registrar at Medicine Unit-4 of the same hospital, is another Covid-19 survivor.
He talked about how patients put the healthcare professionals at risk when they hide their condition.
He stated: “Many of us were infected because some patients did not disclose their symptoms when they came to us."
“We contacted the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) for collecting samples from one of our suspected patients but he ran away; another one tested positive. Both of the patients hid their symptoms when they were first admitted here. Later, a ward boy from our unit tested positive,” he added.
“I had a fever and felt body aches since April 23 and sent my sample for testing on April 25. I had mild breathing problems only on April 23 and had a dry cough on the four following days,” he further mentioned.
He said infected people have to remain positive and relaxed, adding that his friends, family, and the hospital authorities supported him in his journey to recovery.
It has to be ensured that a person, who has contracted coronavirus, receives necessary treatment so that they do not think their life is at risk, Dr Nazmul commented.
It is up to the infected to boost their own morale
Dr Sadia Rahman is another one of our Covid-19 surviving frontline workers.
On April 11, she performed a surgery and the patient tested Covid-19 positive the next day. Dr Sadia went into isolation at the hospital after that.
She described her days in isolation: “I had mild throat ache for the first three days but my seniors assumed that the pain could be caused by a panic attack. Then I had loose motions for two days. Physicians gave me antibiotics and Vitamin C."
“After 14 days, I tested negative. My sample was tested again after 24 hours which also turned out negative,” she added.
“Support from family and friends is necessary but it is up to the infected person to boost their own morale,” she remarked.
Dr Sadia recommended taking liquid food, spicy tea, steam inhalation, food rich in folic acid, citrus fruits, and protein including milk, fish, and meat to help boost an infected person’s immunity system.
She instructed anyone with breathing issues to contact the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) dedicated hotline as soon as possible.
“People with mild Covid-19 symptoms like fever or dry cough can avail telemedicine services and stay at home. But they should not take any medicine without a doctor's prescription,” Sadia said.
According to Sir Salimullah Medical College and Mitford Hospital officials, a total of 107 healthcare providers have been infected there; 42 were doctors, 24 were nurses, and 41 were staff members. Of them, 29 doctors, 12 nurses, and 14 staff members have recovered so far.
Hospital Director Brig Gen Kazi Md Rashid Un Nabi said the recovered officials will join their regular duty as per the duty protocol.