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Meet doctor Chitralekha Nayak, who treated hundreds of covid positive patients in Goa

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Panaji: Goa has seen the worst during the second wave of covid 19 which affected thousands of Goans. Hospitals which were working with its full capacity saw people queuing up outside their doors, waiting for vacant beds and other medical assistance. This was also the same situation in private hospitals across the state. However, seeing that the people of her state needed help, a young doctor from Marcel Dr. Chitralekha Nayak decided to give medical advice to COVID-19 patients over the phone who were under home isolation or who were unable to get admission.
Dr. Chitralekha Nayak, (MD Medicine) who is also a consultant physician at private hospital in Old Goa  has treated more than 400 admitted covid-19 patients and apart from working in covid wards of her hospital , she treats  COVID-19 patients via online consultation or phone or whatsapp. It all started with a few patients in the first wave in August 2020, who spread the word of the doctor’s free and high-quality treatment. Soon, without any advertisement efforts on her part, she started receiving calls from hundreds of new patients, who had heard of her through word of mouth.

“In the peak stage of the pandemic, I used to get calls from people who were in panic after they were diagnosed of covid or when they were denied beds at the hospital. I used to advise them to isolate themselves first at home, used to prescribe medications based on symptoms and  I used to start my monitoring,” says Dr Chitralekha.

She further says in the first wave she monitored around 250 covid -19 patients  and in the  second wave, approximately 800 to 900 patients who were under home isolation. “I used to get 50 to 60 phone calls of new patients daily. I also used to get phone calls from medical officers of Government hospitals,  PHC and CHC and also other private doctors as they had many queries regarding their covid 19 patients. My aim while treating patients under home isolation has always  been to diagnose as many patients early, treat them early and prevent drop in spo2 and prevent further progression of disease by referring patients to the hospital on time. Covid 19 management is finally all about TIME!  This is the reason I tried to help other doctors in this timely covid-19 home management by helping them detect the pattern of covid fever and predicting the course.”

This pandemic has been weird yet an important learning period in my life. Over the months, I   realised how working in a Covid ward has changed my outlook towards life. I value people in my life more than before: our families, friends and people who we see every day. We should treasure each moment we get to spend with them. But, being a young doctor, seeing all these deaths and unfortunate losses to the families makes me sad. Sometimes the patient load of covid patients  and their severe illnesses makes me physically and  mentally exhausted. Yet my family has been so supportive throughout the pandemic. My parents did not resist when I told them about my decision to see covid 19 patients at the Covid ward. The full hospital and covid unit staff has been always supportive to me throughout the pandemic. The senior most doctors in my hospital Dr. Oscar Rebello, Dr. Vijay Naik  were my support system who always encouraged and supported me at every step during this pandemic.

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