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‘Duty before everything else’ – Two doctors return to work hours after cremating mothers in Gujarat

Dr Shipla Patel’s mother lost her week-long battle to Covid-19 and took her last breath on 15th April, Dr Rahul Parmar also lost his mother to age-related complications on the same day

Dr Shilpa Patel and Dr Rahul Parmar, two doctors from Gujarat, joined back at work hours after cremating their mothers. On April 15, at around 3:30 AM, Dr Shipla’s mother lost her week-long battle to Covid-19 and took her last breath in ICU. 77-year-old Kanta Ambalal Patel, Shilpa’s mother, always told her that ‘duty before everything else!’. Dr Shilpa stayed true to her words and joined back at work six hours after her death. Dr Patel is an associate professor with the anatomy department at state-run SSG Hospital.

Since the pandemic started to spread in the country, Dr Shipla has been on Covid-19 duties on rotation every month. “We had shifted my mother from Mehsana to Vadodara after the private practitioner there told us that we would have to arrange for remdesivir ourselves. Since she was admitted at the SSG only, I could at least keep visiting her,” she added.

While remembering her parents’ teachings about how her work should be a priority, she said, “Based on rotation, my Covid duty was supposed to begin at 9 AM on Thursday, but mom departed before that.” She and her brother carried their mother wrapped as per Covid-19 protocol in an ambulance. She was cremated at Akota crematorium.

Dr Parmar lost his mother to age-related complications

Dr Rahul Parmar also lost his 67-year-old mother, Kanta Parmar, to age-related complications in Gandhinagar on April 15. Parmar is performing his duties as nodal officer for Covid management. He is also part of the dead body disposal team at SSG Hospital. He is working with the Preventive and Social Medicine Department at the hospital. After finishing the cremation rituals, he rushed back to the hospital and joined duty. He said, “It was a natural death. I finished the cremation rituals with my family and returned to Vadodara.”

Notably, Dr Parmar also contracted coronavirus last year in December. He had to get admitted to the hospital for five days. “I was administered remdesivir, and after 14 days’ quarantine period, I had rejoined duty,” he added. Dr Parmar has been managing the task to coordinate and handing over bodies of Covid-19 patients to their immediate families for more than a year.

Dr Vinod Rao, Officer on Special Duty for Covid-19 in Vadodara, said that the Covid warriors had displayed great personal commitment towards their duty even during the time of their mourning.

The covid-19 situation in Gujarat

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India reported 2,60,895 cases on April 17. 18,01,951 cases are still active in the country. A total of 1,47,92,362 cases have been reported in India so far. 1,28,06,991 have recovered from the infection, and 1,77,193 have lost their lives due to Covid-19 related complications.

In the case of Gujarat, the state has reported 9,541 new cases on April 17. 55,398 cases are active in the state. 97 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours. The state has administered 1,03,37,448 Covid-19 vaccine doses so far. 89,21,816 have received their first dose, while 14,15,632 have received both doses.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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