In Focus

Colaba Doctors Who Locked Horns With The Virus

By Gajanan Khergamker

"My local BMC doctor has been god-sent," says 62-year-old Sundar Nagari resident and retired peon Mahadev Gaikwad whose family physician shut shop and stayed put at home since the lockdown began. Mahadev has a blood pressure issue and needs to be examined regularly.

PATIENT: Patients lining up, during the lockdown, to visit the BMC dispensary at Colaba
"If it were not for Dr Arulekar, I wouldn’t be able to get my blood pressure checked and take the prerequisite care associated with my situation," says the slum-dweller. Dr Sharad Arulekar, who lives at New Bombay and handles the Colaba Market municipal dispensary, travelled the distance by BEST bus first and now by train, working throughout the lockdown starting 25 March 2020 till date, without a single day’s leave. His never-say-die attitude exemplifies the spirit of selfless doctors - fighting COVID-19 fearlessly like only they could.

"On one lockdown night at about 9 pm, a woman in her late 40s rushed into the clinic with a profusely-bleeding lip and bruises. She had met with a road accident and, in the absence of any other medical facility available; she came to mine,” recalls Dental Surgeon Dr Pranay Pardeshi, who worked throughout the lockdown.

WORKING IN UNISON: Dr Pranay Pardeshi with sister Dr Pranita Pardeshi at their dental clinic
"I sutured the laceration on her lip, performed the dressing of the multiple bruises, administered a tetanus injection and gave her antibiotics." The lady, in great pain, would have suffered further if the stitches weren't done on time.

In the lockdown, with most options limited, the smallest of issues could swiftly snowball into a serious predicament. “Like for the Railway Colony couple in their late fifties who couldn’t eat properly because their dental bridges had come off during the lockdown and approached me,” says dentist sister Dr Pranita Pardeshi. “Because of their inability to eat properly, they had developed severe acidity and were suffering. Once attended to, they were immediately relieved,” she said.

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