She was one of the nurses who treated a coronavirus patient in Kerala, who has fully recovered and is back to leading a normal life. A mother of two, the nurse was part of a team of around 25 nurses selected by the health authorities to treat cases related to coronavirus at the Alappuzha Medical College.
"Initially, we were a little scared. But we were mentally prepared by our Clinical Nurses Education Unit. They trained us with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and gave information on coronavirus. We had full confidence in our Kerala Health Department. After the first two days of entering the isolation ward to treat patients, everything fell in place," the 32-year-old told NDTV.
"I was fortunate enough to be in the team," she said.
Wearing the full protective gear and working continuously for six hours was tough, the nurse recounts. The working hours were later reduced to four hours of continuous work in the protective gear, followed by a break. After work, it was mandatory for them to wash their uniform with bleach and have a bath in the hospital itself, before leaving.
"I have two small children, one is just a two-year-old. So once I reached home, they would cling on to me. I would try not to kiss them, but they would always be around me," the nurse recalled.
"Our team of nurses, housekeeping staff and other support teams were taken off other duties for the duration we were treating coronavirus-related cases," she said.
One of the patients the nurse treated was 23-year-old medical student who returned from central China's Wuhan and was tested positive. "He was a very co-operative, responsive patient, especially because he was a medical student himself, and had perhaps seen worse in Wuhan. It's important that we speak and give time to the patient, because in the isolation ward, there is no other interaction he could have in-person. He could speak to others only on phone," she said.
The patient was discharged from the hospital on February 13.
"Having seen the patient walk out of the hospital completely healthy, I want to tell you that COVID-19 is not a disease to be scared of. Whatever health department is telling you to follow, please follow. Only then can we break the chain. It is important to maintain social distancing and for people returning from other affected countries, please remain in home isolation and in touch with officials," the nurse said.