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Success tales from COVID19 hospital, hugs, companionship

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Panaji: Right from a doctor who offered a hug to every recovered patient to asymptomatic persons helping fellow patients during their stay, Goa government’s  COVID-19 hospital has several humane tales.

Dr Edwin Gomes, who headed Goa Medical College’s medicine department and then led the team which set up COVID-19 hospital in the state, has hugged almost 190 people in last three months.

Back home after uninterrupted 98 days of duty at COVID-19 hospital, Gomes said that he has hugged all the patients when they were discharged from the hospital.

“I have hugged all the patients when they were discharged because they were all covid negative and they all had covid antibodies and I knew they will not get covid so I hugged them,” he said.

Gomes said that his gesture was a way to send a signal to the world outside not to  throw these people (patients who have recovered from COVID-19 infection) out of the village.

The doctor, who headed a team of four other juniors and several other health care professionals at ESI hospital in Margao (South Goa), has coined a term “Covid Angels” for the patients who return back to their homes after recovery.

“They (recovered patients) are angels, they are not going to get covid. They are VIPs. In fact their plasma can be used to treat covid patients. They have such antibodies,” he said.

Gomes said that the COVID-19 recovered patients, rather being tabooed, should have been treated like an asset.

“These patients are total asset for the society because it is proved that they are not going to get covid again, at least for one year,” he said.

“Also, he or she (recovered patients) is the best person to tell another person, when they should exactly consult a doctor,” he said.

Gomes said that there is symptom called shortness of breathe. “If you miss that moment (shortness of breathe) and go into breathlessness phase, then it becomes difficult to save you.”

“You must reach in that phase where there is short of breathe, which these people (recovered) know,” he explained.

Gomes narrates anecdotes of how the patients from Mangor Hill area in Vasco town, which is the hotspot for COVID-19     outbreak in Goa, donned the hat of ‘nurses’ to help the fellow patients.

“There was one patient from Mangor Hill. He had recovered and waiting for his final report. So he was helping all the other patients feeding them, putting the bed pan. He was like a nurse. If somebody had extra question, he would answer,” Gomes said.

“He was covid free. These are the type of people who can work in covidcare centres set up by the state government,” he said.

The doctor said “at least 25 per cent of people who came from Mangor Hill has got a second life. They were brought in a bad condition when they arrived at the hospital”.

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