'It's our duty': Meet the family of doctors from Telangana fighting COVID-19

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'It's our duty': Meet the family of doctors from Telangana fighting COVID-19

Hyderabad-based Dr Mahboob Khan is in his 22nd year of service. He is Superintendent, the administrative head, of the Chest Hospital. His wife, Dr Sahana Khan, a doctor specialising in dermatology for the last 15 years, works at Gandhi Hospital. His daughter, Rashika Khan, recently completed her MBBS and joined Fever Hospital as a house surgeon on March 26.

Today, all three of them are at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in Telangana.

The family also came to the notice of Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister KT Rama Rao. "Today, I have not one, but three 'Citizen Heroes' all from the same family. Unmindful of their own safety, Dr Mahboob Khan, his wife Dr Shahana Khan and daughter Dr Rashika Khan have dedicated themselves to fight coronavirus. Kudos to you guys," KTR tweeted.

As outpatient wards have been closed down in the state-run hospitals they work at, the three members of the family have been pitching in to fight coronavirus.

Speaking to TNM, Dr Mahboob Khan said, "We don't feel fear. We feel proud and we feel it's our duty. Once we join the medical field, we feel mentally prepared to face anything. The emergency has some risk, I agree, but if the doctors don't work now, who else will work? We are human as well and there are apprehensions, but we get acclimatized."

"Once we wear protective equipment, it is like a uniform — just like a soldier. We concentrate on the patient's health and treatment and not on ourselves. We don't worry about what can happen to us at that moment. We are working for a greater cause," he added.

Speaking about his family's daily schedule, Khan said, "The three of us disperse in the morning itself. By 9 am, everyone is out of the house. Weekly once, my daughter has night duties, which means she will be in the hospital for 24 hours."

When asked about how it felt to receive praise from KTR, Khan said that it has boosted their morale.

"All of us felt very happy and we are thankful as well. It is definitely motivating and boosts our morale to continue working. We get a lot of encouragement with that one small line of acknowledgement," he says.

Chief Minister KCR on Monday announced a 10% incentive on the gross salary of employees of the Medical and Health Department as a 'gift' in recognition of their services in combating COVID-19. The Chief Minister made the announcement at a news conference, where he thanked all healthcare professionals with folded hands. "I salute everyone from sweeper to the director for rendering valuable services," he said.

He also suggested that the nationwide lockdown should be extended for a couple of weeks to contain the spread of coronavirus.

"The CM is stressing about continuing the lockdown. I think this is good. The public should restrict themselves to their homes as much as possible. It is their responsibility and I'm not exaggerating when I say that just this simple act is almost equal to the services rendered by people working in the medical field. We are stepping out for you, so you should stay indoors for us," Dr Mahboob Khan said.

"I have a son who is preparing to join the medical field and I can proudly say that if he was working today, he would also be in the frontline with all of us, to fight the pandemic," he added.

As of Monday evening, the total number of coronavirus cases in Telangana stood at 364. Out of this, 308 cases are active, with 45 people discharged and 11 dead.

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