In an exclusive interview with The Daily Guardian, Maharshtra’s PWD Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan talks about his own personal battle with Covid19 (he was tested corona-positive) and, of course, the state’s pandemic preparedness.
Excerpts: Q. When did you come to know that you had Covid-19 and what was your reaction?
A. I was in Mumbai in midMay for the Maharashtra Legislative Council election. Before lockdown was announced, I was at my constituency in Nanded. For elections I came to Mumbai and then travelled back to Nanded. I quarantined myself because I was coming from a red zone. My first report came negative and after few days, second report came negative too. Meanwhile, my doctors gave me medicines for precautionary measures but I was feeling uncomfortable, so I went for an X-Ray check. The doctors found an infection in my chest and I was admitted to a Nanded hospital and then I was shifted to a Mumbai hospital.
Q. Many people across Maharashtra are not getting beds in hospitals and have to wait for ambulances. What do you have to say?
A. The situation is bad especially in Mumbai as cases are increasing day by day. But, let me tell you that the situation is still under control. We have increased the quarantine centres in Mumbai. The first batch of doctors and nurses from Kerala has already reached the city. We have requested other states too where Covid-19 cases are low, to send their doctors and nurses teams to Mumbai.
Q. Now that you have got discharged from the hospital, what is your advice to people as most of them are in panic?
A. Let me tell you that coronavirus is a curable disease. Do not create panic, have faith in the system and treatment. Once in hospital, you will get proper treatment. Do not doubt our health system as our doctors and nurses are working throughout the day. When I was in the hospital, many doctors came for check-ups wearing PPE kits. You don’t even get to know whether they are male or female. They are working nonstop 8-10 hours a day without taking food and water. We need to thank them for their services. Stay at home and if you don’t have any urgency then don’t leave the house. We will defeat Covid-19 soon.