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International Nurses Day – A Tribute to The Unsung COVID Warriors

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The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a major challenge to everyone’s work lives. However, it is at an altogether another level for the frontline warriors. While doctors take credit for recovery of patient from the virus, the contribution of a nurse in recovery of the patient is often overlooked.
May 12th is observed as International Nurses Day across the world every year. The day is celebrated to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the first “professional nurse”. On this International Nurses Day, let us pay tribute to the nurses in COVID duty as unsung heroes, who risked and even sacrificed their lives to perform their duty in the fight against the pandemic.

Nurse Prema from Vellore

52-year-old nurse Prema of Rajiva Gandhi Nagar in Vellore was working in the COVID duty in Vellore Government Hospital. The nurse caught the fever for which she was admitted to the same hospital where she had been working for 25 years. She tested positive for Covid-19 on April 26. As her health deteriorated, Prema was given oxygen support and was also put on ventilator support. But she passed away on May 9.

Nurses in Bharuch Fire Accident

Sixteen Covid patients and two nurses were killed as a major fire broke out in the ICU of a hospital in Gujarat’s Bharuch district. Charmy Gohil, a nurse who was on duty in the ICU-1 ward, and sustained burns on her left leg, said that they saw a spark in the ventilator and suddenly, there was a fire. The fire spread quickly because of the PPE suit donned by other nurses who lost their lives because of it.

Rakhi John from Delhi

Rakhi John, a nursing officer at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, got a call from her family in Kerala on Sunday afternoon that her grandmother had succumbed to Covid-19. A few hours later, John picked herself up, reported to the Covid ward of the hospital and discharged her duties for the day.
The 32-year-old said her grandmother raised her after she lost her mother at the age of one. “I addressed her as Amma. She was more than a mother to me. The news of her demise shattered me. I felt helpless, and orphaned at the same time. My husband asked me to take leave and go home. But I knew I would not be allowed to attend her last rites because of the Covid norms. Besides, there are so many patients banking on me. If I manage to save their lives, it will be my tribute to Amma,” she said.