At the time when the Covid-19 pandemic is exerting immense pressure on doctors, many of them are going beyond the call of duty to serve humanity in the best possible manner.
Among them are Dr Akash Gupta and Dr Prince Soni who are engaged in the Gandhi Medical College’s Fever Clinic. Besides routine sample collection, they spare no stone unturned to help outpatients and their kin in the last one year.
The 27-year-old, Dr Prince Soni, a pre-medical test topper of 2013 (76 rank), had been working relentlessly in the last one year since the outbreak of Covid-19. He is so immersed in his mission that he took only a single day’s leave in one year, on Diwali, to visit his family based in Mandideep. Mostly he uses his phone to communicate to his family which is proud of his relentless services during the pandemic.
As a member of the fever clinic, Dr Soni has collected over 30,000 samples from suspects in one year, wearing only an N95 mask and gloves. He reckons that the virus could only enter your body through nose and mouth and mask covers both and also saves him from hassles of putting on a PPE-kit.
“Around 20,000 samples collected by me later tested positive but it shows that proper mask and social distancing keeps you safe,” said Dr Soni.
If anyone can’t visit the hospital, Dr Soni on some occasions collected samples from home at the request of the patients and on numerous occasions, reached the vehicles of the patients to collect the sample. For a good part of the last year, an eight-hour shift normally stretches to 12 hours and still, the dedicated medico spends personal free time counselling patients admitted to the wards, helping their kin with food, medicine or anything they need.
“Patients remain terrified after contracting corona so instilling confidence in them through counselling remains critical,” claimed Dr Soni. When asked to define the reason behind this, he promptly replied, “Manav Seva Param Dharma.”
Dr Soni also rendered services for 104 video calling services for covid19 patients.
A junior resident (Pulmonary Medicine), Dr Soni, was posted in the fever clinic in April 2020 and was joined by his medical college teacher Dr Akash Gupta in June 2020 as the in charge of the clinic.
Dr Gupta too served beyond duty hours, helping out patients with counselling, medical advice on call and other amenities, till a month ago (280 days without a break) when he tested positive along with his wife and son. Even inside from the Covid-19 ward, when Dr Gupta turned asymptomatic, he kept helping fellow patients even for co-ordinating with their kin outside.
“Even when I was on duty, I used to help out other wards as the workforce is limited,” said Dr Gupta who last year also worked in critical contact tracing task when the city had its first encounter with the virus. He led the team which engaged in contact tracing of those returned from Nizamuddin Markaz and was the one who contact-traced closed one of Naresh Khatik, the first Covid-19 casualty in Bhopal.
“Those days, we used to trace almost 50-60 contacts of a suspect daily, also helping them out with ration, milk and other things when the need be,” he recounted.
Commenting on Dr Prince Soni’s endeavours, Dr Gupta called him a superhero who acted like a one-man army during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As his wife has recovered from severe lungs congestion, Dr Gupta also wishes to return to duty to restart his services yet again.
Bhopal Collector and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan have mentioned these physicians in their appreciating tweets, acknowledging their selfless services during the pandemic.