Flower petals, whistles and claps filled the air as 24-year-old Sushma Devi, a nurse working with a private hospital in Delhi, returned home after recovering from COVID-19. Wearing face masks, neighbours came out of their homes in Kishan Ganj, Vasant Kunj, to welcome the ‘corona fighter’ — in a stark contrast to reports of some healthcare workers being harassed in their localities.
Posted in the liver transplant block of Max Hospital, Saket, Devi was discharged on April 19.
“I reached home around 10 pm and was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome from my neighbours. All of them were clapping for me… some even lit candles. I felt extremely special,” she told The Indian Express.
Devi had resigned from the hospital in February but continued to be on duty during the notice period. On April 13, she gave a sample for testing after some healthcare workers in the hospital tested positive.
“I was sitting in my room when the report came out… I felt helpless. I immediately informed my team and an ambulance was dispatched to my home to take me to the hospital. Within those few minutes, I pulled myself together. I thought about my patients who need me and that gave me courage…,” she said.
Five days after she tested positive, the hospital tested her again on April 17 and the reports came out negative. “During my stay, I followed proper health hygiene, and the staff extended a lot of support and motivation,” said Devi, who was asymptomatic.
Hailing from Manipur, she lives with her uncle. He and nine other family members who live in the same building were isolated after she tested positive. Her aunt and sister have tested negative.
Devi has now been advised home isolation for 14 days. “There were many unfamiliar faces (at the hospital) but I found a common spirit among each of them. With my family under quarantine, neighbours pitched in to provide essential items — they would leave them outside our door. They all used to ask about my health and send their blessings,” said Devi.
In Delhi, more than 75 healthcare workers across various hospitals have tested positive so far.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines