Anesthesiologists have been called to the frontlines of this COVID-19 war for a vital and dangerous job. From intubating ventilator tubes into Covid patients to treating the most critical cases admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), these lesser-known doctors have accepted this challenging assignment with a shortage of equipment and at the risk of their own health.

It was recently that the country came up with its first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate, named ‘Covaxin’. The Drug Controller General of India’s approval to conduct human trials of Covaxin — developed jointly by Bharat Biotech, National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research ⁠— has sparked a glimmer of hope but then a circular last week turned that hope into fear of hasty approach.

With the novel coronavirus infection surging and vaccine a no-show, the panic-stricken people from various parts of the country are falling prey to quacks and occult practitioners. Cases of quacks milking the pandemic by peddling fake virus tests, mystery potions, and pills are on an alarming rise in the country. On one hand, we have a committed team of professional doctors and healthcare staff working day and night to ensure the well being of humanity and on the other hand, there are such fraudsters who are gambling with the lives of patients.

Irrespective of boundaries, the entire world is now looking up to the doctors. In the midst of the pandemic, their deeds can change the course of history. The very existence of mankind will be determined by their actions. Maybe one day, COVID-19 will be an afterthought. But long after that, this trauma will define a generation of doctors and healthcare workers.

Either way, when the alarm wakes me up I can feel the torment on my entire body. Irregular sleeping hours and sleep deprivation are now a constant companion. However, I’ll kick start the exhausted body and will be back to work without a second thought. All thanks to my circadian rhythm that has been doing a restless job for the past one month!

World Sickle Cell Day is a United Nations recognised day to raise awareness of sickle cell at a national and international level. On 22nd December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognises sickle cell disease as a public health problem and “one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases.” The resolution calls for members to raise awareness of sickle cell on June 19th of each year at the national and international levels. Despite Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) being recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global health problem, there is not a coordinated approach to tackling the disease at a global level. As SCD continues to be an under-recognised public health issue, urgent action, attention, and awareness among the global community are required to tackle the disease.

Nothing can be more perplexing than the country’s apex court having to intervene to ensure that doctors and healthcare workers at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus are paid their salaries without any dues. Doctors having to strike work over non-payment of wages for three months and that too in the national capital, right under the nose of the Union and Delhi governments, is shameful. There was a glimmer of hope that the pandemic would finally shift focus and attention to the healthcare sector, but all that has gone in vain. The State and the authorities, it appears, would rather indulge themselves with the easy part: Lighting Diyas and Showering petals.

The provision of blood has always been an important aspect of healthcare. A well-functioning blood system should be an absolute necessity and top priority of the healthcare policy. Safe blood is critical both for treatments and urgent interventions. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and neonatal care.

With the number of coronavirus cases steadily rising even after the lock-down period, the healthcare infrastructure of the country has started to creak as major cities run out of resources. Ever since the arrival of the pandemic, India has been hearing the word ‘shortage’ from time to time. As the initial days witnessed a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), today, the nation is facing a significant shortage of doctors, healthcare workers, hospital beds, and other medical equipment.

As the number of COVID-19 cases surges across the nation, the front-line healthcare workers who are at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus are now at the receiving end. Reports on doctors and healthcare professionals getting infected with COVID-19 has taken up a permanent spot among the daily news. The spike in infection rate among medical professionals can be attributed to several factors such as low quality of the available PPE to overexposure at the workplace. Even though the Centre hasn’t revealed any actual statistics, several doctors are getting infected by the coronavirus on a day to day basis. To make things worse, some of the so-called ‘invincible heroes’ have already succumbed to the disease during the course of action. Even when the society attributes superhero powers to healthcare workers, when it comes to ground reality, every healthcare worker is at the bleeding edge of the pandemic.