"With an intention to spread positive vibes among Covid patients, Dr Sohail Saifuddin Inamdar celebrated his birthday at O P Jindal Centre, a dedicated Covid care facility, by distributing cake and biscuits," said Ballari deputy commissioner S.S. Nakul to IANS.
The special birthday bash occurred at Torangallu in Ballari district's Sandur Taluk, 316 km north of Bengaluru, where the Jindal steel plant and township is located.
Inamdar, an orthopaedics medical student, had just completed his final year post-graduate course examination at Vijayangara Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) in Ballari.
He completed a week's duty at the Covid hospital treating moderate cases on oxygen support.
"What I felt was that the patients are very stressed out as they are isolated. There are not many caretakers also, they are feeling very lonely and left out," said Dr Inamdar.
So the young doctor felt like reducing their stress and cheering them up a little bit in the hospital.
"So I just wanted to reduce their stress a little bit by making them feel more involved. It was my birthday also, so I thought I will distribute cake and celebrate with them that they might feel involved and encouraged a little bit," he said.
Wearing head-to-toe personal protective equipment (PPE), Inamdar and his colleagues distributed the birthday cake in paper plates to the Covid patients lying in beds.
A few patients sat up to receive the cake and also struck a conversation with the doctors in the isolated Covid ward.
Dr Inamdar was overwhelmed by the positive response his celebratory gesture had generated in the 32 patients he was taking care of.
"I received a very positive response from the patients. I was very happy with that. In fact, one of the patients gifted me one of his apples. He was very happy and wished me 'Happy Birthday Sir' and said I wanted to gift you something, an apple," added the doctor.
Another patient wished a long life for Dr Inamdar and blessed him to become a centenarian.
"Even the old patients were very happy. Sir, you celebrated your birthday with us, may you live for 100 years," Dr Inamdar quoted them saying.
According to Dr Inamdar, in this tough situation, not just physical health but patients' mental health is also important.
"So if they are mentally sound, their vitals (health indicators) will also be more healthy. It was a small gesture so that patients might get more involved," observed Dr Inamdar.
Incidentally, in early July, the Jindal steel plant and township saw a spike in Covid cases after which it was sealed.
Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Ltd (JVSL) was formed in 1994 and boasts a capacity of 12 million tonne per annum (MTPA). It was merged with Jindal Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) in 2005.
On Sunday, Ballari witnessed 377 new infections, second to Bengaluru Urban's 2,105, resulting in the district's tally rising to 7,049, of which 3,749 are active.
Ballari has seen a Covid toll of 77 till Sunday.