The Prime Minister's Office has been making regular calls to hospitals and they wanted to speak to any of the nursing staff on their experience. (File)
Fifty-year-old Chhaya Jagtap, a staff nurse at Naidu Hospital who was selected to speak with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday evening on how they were dealing with patients of COVID-19 at the civic run hospital told The Indian Express that she was just a small player in the entire set up.
"It is a team work right from the contractual staff engaged is cleaning the rooms and wards occupied by COVID-19 patients to treating doctors," says Chhaya, who had also handled patients during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.
Unused to the attention she has been receiving after the telephonic call from the PM's Office, Chhaya said she was merely a spokesperson who was selected to answer PM Modi's queries.
“We are doing our duty. Everything is going on smoothly and there is no reason for panic,” Chhaya told the Prime Minister. While she answered his queries in Hindi, the PM initially addressed her in Marathi and said her family members must be concerned about her as she was attending to COVID-19 patients.
When asked to give her message to other nurses looking after COVID-19 patients across the country, she said there was no reason for panic and it was their duty to look after them. She added, “While there is a scare when a person's samples test positive, we talk to them and try to address their concerns.”
She said the atmosphere was positive in the hospital and doctors were extremely attentive to the needs of patients. “Nurses, attendants and other staff are working long hours to ensure that the crisis is effectively dealt with,” she said, adding that her responses to the PM's questions were impromptu and were not rehearsed.
She recalled the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, when the first death in the country -– a 14-year-old Pune student Reeda Shaikh – had taken place. “That day my son had also tested positive for swine flu and all of us at home were quarantined. There was a great deal of panic and people had come to Naidu Hospital in large numbers for tests,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dr Ramchandra Hankare, PMC medical chief, said the Prime Minister's Office has been making regular calls to hospitals and they wanted to speak to any of the nursing staff on their experience.