Ankur Garg, 26, always wears a mask, sanitises his hands before he picks up his 14-day-old daughter whom he fondly calls ‘angel’ or ‘giggle’ as her namkaran (naming ceremony) is yet to be done.
Ankur and his expectant wife, Priya Gupta, had travelled from Barnala to Ludhiana’s Iqbal Nursing Home for delivery and the girl was born on March 27 through a caesarean operation.
“We had been consulting Dr Iqbal. We took permission from Barnala DC and came here. Normally the patient is discharged on the fourth day, but we extended our stay, because we wanted to get stitches removed and make sure that baby is doing fine as it is not possible for us to come all the way from Barnala yet again,” said Ankur. The baby and the mother were discharged on April 3.
“Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, doctors have told me to feed the baby wearing a mask. We wear a mask when we pick the baby. The baby has only seen us in a mask, so may be, when this is over, she will look at us without masks and start crying,” said Priya laughing.
Ankur added,” I fear moving out even for a second. No other relative was allowed to come for the delivery. We have no plans to call anyone for some time. But we are also loving this self-isolation and spending time with the little one. “
Dr Iqbal Singh said, “We have delivered 16 patients since March 23 leading to birth of eight boys and eight girls. We told most outstation patients to get deliveries done at their native cities only, while few patients who were keen to get deliveries done here, came. We examine patients wearing safety kits and before delivery, do examine their symptoms as well. Despite the grimness outside, maternity wards are always full of happiness.”
Ram Kumar Sharma, parent of another new born baby girl who hails from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, said,”I work in the Ludhiana hosiery industry, but my wife was staying at our hometown Hamirpur. I used to visit her on weekends. However, she came to Ludhiana on March 12 and stayed on. We stayed at my sister’s place in Ludhiana as we wanted to get delivery done here itself. On March 30, she delivered a baby girl. Both are doing fine. While the world is talking about pandemic, infection, deaths…..we are celebrating the gift of life which God has given to us. I have not seen the outer world after that as I am busy with my daughter and wife. But yes, I feel scared when I pick my daughter. We will be staying in Ludhiana only till April 14 and later will move to our native place.”
About steps he is taking to keep his daughter safe, he added: “At times, I go to my sister’s place to bring something. I first take bath, change clothes, only than pick her up.”
His wife, Pooja Sharma, said: “We lovingly call her Vaani. Her dadi, nani have not met her personally as of now as in corona times we are accepting wishes through video calls only.”
Doctor Iqbal said, “only two attendants are allowed inside, and we have told people that too many people should not be involved in taking care of the baby. Just fix 1-2 persons. If someone comes from outside, pick the child after taking bath and changing clothes as newborns have low immunity.”
Dr MS Chawla, paediatrician at the hospital, said: “There is a threat, but deliveries can’t be postponed.”
Ram Kumar added,”Parents need to self-isolate themselves with the kid. Earlier, 40 days self-isolation time period used to be followed by families after delivery. Over the years, many moved away from this. It is time to go back to our roots.”
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