COVID-19: Are We Doing Our Bit to Protect Frontline Medics? 

“Are we doing enough for our doctors in this war?” asks Dr Ashwini Setya, Programme Director at Max Hospital.

2 min read
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While there is no dearth of stories of valour and selfless help in this unprecedented worldwide pandemic causing an emergency situation in every country that it has affected, there are others which show beyond belief, how insensitive the people from all walks of life, could get.

First, it was some celebrities and the rich who tried and were successful in concealing their illness and their Coronavirus positive status either by tricking the authorities or by flaunting their clout. They spread the disease to such a magnitude that it has compelled the State to order a complete lockdown of the country - the biggest and most unprecedented in the world!

And now comes this news that the angels of Air India and doctors across the country who have put their own life on line are being shunned by their landlords, neighbours and the so called Resident ‘Welfare’ Associations.

As if that was not enough, medical negligence in treatment has been alleged by the families of some of the COVID-19 patients.

Is it only the lack of knowledge or complete ignorance that has prompted the landlords and RWAs to ostracise those very people who are in the front line to save this very society. It appears that the malady of cynicism and extreme selfishness runs much deeper than meets the eye.

In other instances, it is difficult to believe that the people concerned did not have any knowledge, despite the media blaring, about the disease or its incurable nature and that it is contagious to the extent that it has gripped the world like a vice. Once again the couldn't care less attitude about everybody else other than yourselves is very obvious.

Yesterday in a meeting with the medical personnel before the Prime Minister's address to the nation, the Association of Surgeons of India almost complained to the Prime Minister that the routine elective surgeries are being done without giving a thought to the fact that these surgeries would occupy the ICU beds which in the hour of need would then not be available for COVID-19 patients. Again vested interests take the front seat.

Government officials are under pressure to show compliance of the directives to shore up the health care infrastructure to be able to answer this need of the hour. But is it really translating into reality at the grassroot or this is merely cosmetic at least in some cases.

The question that we all have to ask ourselves is are we doing our bit, in this war?

(Dr Ashwini Setya is a Gastroenterologist and Programme Director in Delhi’s Max Super Speciality Hospital. His endeavor is to help people lead a healthy life without medication. He can be reached at

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