January 16, 2021 4:35:54 am
From nursing orderlies to top doctors, a total 8,100 healthcare workers who have for months fought the Covid-19 pandemic from the front in Delhi, will receive doses of the vaccine on Saturday, the first day of India’s mass inoculation drive.
“Public ko dikhana hai, aise hi Covid khatam hoga (We have to show the public, this is how Covid-19 will end),” said 28-year-old Pavitra Chaturvedi, a nursing orderly at the capital’s Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.
Chaturvedi, who has been posted in the Covid ward of the Delhi government-run hospital since the beginning of the pandemic, was elated and emotional to be among those who will receive the first shots of the vaccine.
“Last year was a critical time for all of us. Bhagwan se maangte hain ki aisa time fir kabhi na aaye. (We pray to God, may we never have to see such a time again),” he said.
Over 10,000 people have died from the novel coronavirus infection in Delhi. Across the country, the virus has sickened more than 1.05 crore people and killed more than 1.5 lakh.
The city has received 2.64 lakh doses of Covishield, the Indian variant of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine, and 20,000 doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, for the immunisation programme.
“This is a totally unprecedented situation as the whole world has virtually come to a standstill because of the pandemic. When there was a wave of Covid-19 cases, all the non-Covid patients disappeared. We had many cancer patients who came in at a later stage of the disease because they did not want to come to the hospital [earlier],” Dr Shyam Aggarwal (62), a medical oncologist and bone marrow transplant specialist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said.
“It’s a new world, and we have to end the pandemic,” Dr Aggarwal said. “A lot of things have gone awry, and everyone is hoping that this disease goes away so that life can return to normal. The vaccine, besides taking precautions, is the only thing that will help us eliminate the disease.”
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain will visit the Delhi government’s Lok Nayak Hospital on Saturday to inspect the vaccination drive. According to sources, a nurse, a cleaner, and a doctor will be vaccinated at the hospital in the presence of the CM.
Calling it the “way forward”, Dr Ravi Bansal (46), a senior consultant with the department of nephrology at PSRI Hospital, said: “The role of vaccines is to decrease the number of people who are susceptible to the virus. So, either you get the infection or get the vaccine. The virus should be eliminated from society once the number of people susceptible to the virus is reduced. It is the duty of everyone to get vaccinated.”
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