Despite increased risk, doctor continues undeterred | The Daily Star
08:15 PM, April 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:18 PM, April 08, 2020

Despite increased risk, doctor continues undeterred

She is a cardiac patient.

Yet, the 35-year-old doctor did not evade her duties -- knowing the added risks -- during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

She continues to work at Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital. The government in late February announced it as a special hospital to treat Covid-19 patients.

She was among the doctors who handled the first confirmed case on March 7.

Despite being vulnerable to coronavirus as a cardiac patient, taking a break has been quite impossible for her due to the number of patients snowballing -- forcing her to overwork at times with other colleagues.

She was forced to pause only when her CSFP (coronary slow-flow phenomenon) got complicated and she had to be admitted at a hospital in late March.

But after three days, she returned to work to serve patients.

"It is our duty… This is the time to prove our commitment to the state… to show our dedication to the oath we took," the doctor told The Daily Star today.

Against the backdrop of some hospitals being criticised for "mishandling" patients during this time of crisis, there have been similar accounts of doctors who have been working tirelessly to attend to patients. One of the doctor's colleagues, who was pregnant, had a miscarriage while performing duties at the same hospital, she said.

Despite all odds, 60 physicians and consultants and 85 nurses are serving patients at Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital.

More than 200 Covid-19 patients and suspected cases have received treatment at the hospital so far, according to hospital sources.

The doctor has two children: a six-year-old autistic son and a four-year-old daughter.

"It was a difficult task… I can't stay away from patients, nor can I ignore my children -- particularly one with special needs," she said.

Doctors and nurses at the hospital said they started facing different problems after the hospital started taking in Covid-19 patients.

Many were asked by their neighbours either to avoid going out or to refrain from returning to the respective buildings where they live, from the hospital, they said.

The neighbour of the doctor this correspondent interviewed showed similar attitude to her.

Despite being a heart patient, every day she walked seven flights of stairs to go to the rooftop to take a shower immediately after returning home. She would only then walk back to her flat on the third floor.

"I do not want to use the lift as I don't want to be the cause of the virus' spread in my building. I tried to keep my family and my neighbours safe," she said.

Although initially she went back to her house in Uttara, she now stays with her colleague at a hotel near the hospital.

"We are encouraged by the superintendent of the hospital Dr Shehab Uddin. He is very upbeat and dedicated," she said.

Doctors at the hospital thanked the government as they were provided with sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks.

Dr Shehab Uddin, the superintendent of the hospital, said almost all doctors and nurses are dedicatedly discharging their duties and serving patients at the hospital.

Only one or two doctors are panicked and they do not come to the hospital, he said.

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