On March 6, 2020 Dr Waheed Wani received a call from the authorities that he had been put on a Covid duty. Without giving a second thought, he joined his duty the next day. One year down the line, Wani has not only been performing his duty religiously, but during this period he also had to go through a personal tragedy.
â€œInitially, I was posted at a Jawahar tunnel for screening of the travelers coming from outside. I worked there for about four months,â€ recalls Wani.
It was around the same period when he got infected with the virus, which later transmitted to his pregnant wife also.
â€œMy wife was pregnant at that time. She got severely ill. Though she survived, we lost our baby,â€ Wani said.
However, the tragedy did not stop Wani from performing his duty.Â Hardly ten days after losing his child, Wani was back in the field to serve people.
â€œIt was hard to lose my child. But it was Allahâ€™s will so I had to be content with His decision,â€ he said. â€œMy services were required, so how could I have said no. Moreover, I was not alone in this grief. Many have lost their dear ones also.â€
Wani said post September last year, the Covid-19 cases witnessed a steep decline and all the frontline workers had a sigh of relief.
Â â€œWe thought that the worst is over. But the second wave is even more severe and all of us are finding it challenging to deal with the situation,â€ he said.
Currently, posted at Qazigund block headquarters, Wani said that he sees many patients on a daily basis who are Covid-19 positive.
â€œWe refer severe patients to district hospitals, while patients with mild symptoms are advised to go for home isolation,â€ he said.
Wani said in the past one year, many doctors, nurses and other medical staff members have turned Covid positive, besides many lost their lives also.
â€œEven today after receiving vaccination, some of the doctors have tested positive for COVID-19 infection. But, all of them are stable,â€ he said.
However, Wani said compared to the last year, the frontline workers are equipped with more sophisticated protective gears this time.
â€œEarlier, we were not equipped with the latest protective gears, but today we feel much safer,â€ he said.
Wani said in the pandemic, the government should arrange an alternative accommodation for all the frontline workers to keep their families safe from contracting the virus.
Â â€œMany families have contracted the virus because one of their family members is related to a medical profession. Despite all the precautions it is difficult to isolate yourself at home,â€ he said.
Wani, who has been in the medical profession since 2011, said as per roaster, he is supposed to work four days a week. However, he can be called anytime for the duty, depending upon the gravity of the situation.
â€œThere is no holiday in our profession, especially when we are facing a pandemic like this. But I donâ€™t mind working. I am more than happy to serve my people. Allah has given me this opportunity and I am fulfilling it,â€ he said.