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COVID warriors wear I-Day honour on sleeves

Be it doctors, police personnel, firemen or conservancy workers, those who did Chennai proud by winning laurels for their service in battling the pandemic had one thing in common: selflessness and dedication beyond the call of duty.

COVID warriors wear I-Day honour on sleeves


Dr V Rajendran dedicates honour to RGGGH teammates

It was the efforts of a team of doctors led by Dr V Rajendran, associate professor of Department of Internal Medicine, that helped Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), one of the institutions to treat the highest number of COVID cases in the State, to come up with protocols to provide individualistic treatment to all corona patients and monitor them.

To recognise his efforts to provide the best treatment to COVID-19 patients, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami awarded Dr V Rajendran along with eight other frontline warriors who have extended exemplary services to fight the pandemic.

50-year-old Dr Rajendran, who was presented with Certificate of Appreciation, has been associated with RGGGH for more than 15 years and dedicates the honour to all the team members who worked with him to offer medical services to corona patients.

He says it was a challenge to come up with a protocol for COVID-19 treatment as the virus is new, and besides providing timely treatment, the monitoring of hydration levels and saturation levels in individual patients is a huge task.

“We conducted special online classes to train medicos and doctors to work as per protocols and understand the procedures that need the intervention of different specialities. We developed separate teams of doctors across different specialities to offer all kinds of help round the clock. We had to go through research data and based on our experience of treating COVID patients, we came up with protocols that are now yielding results,” said Dr Rajendran.

Among others, Dr Uma Maheswari from Virudhunagar Government Medical College Hospital and Dr A Sathish Kumar, Lecturer at Government Siddha Hospital in Arumbakkam were also honoured. Three nurses including N Ramuthai from Government Omandurar Hospital, Grace Emaima from RGGGH and A Aadhilakshmi from ESI medical college hospital, Coimbatore were also presented with certificates.

S Raju, Deputy director, state health laboratory, Department of public health and preventive medicine, Muthu Kumar, Health Analyst from Coimbatore and Jeevaraj, Laboratory staff from Palani health division in Dindigul were also awarded on Saturday.

For Inspector Rajeswari, nation is above everything

Inspector E Rajeswari of Secretariat Colony Police Station in Greater Chennai Police is one of the three police personnel who was honoured with Chief Minister’s Special Award for her exceptional COVID combat works.

She made headlines when she decided to give a decent burial to a woman pavement dweller and her work was noticed by the senior officials. When contacted on Saturday, a few hours after she received the award from Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the Independence Day celebrations, the inspector was busy getting things arranged for lunch for pavement dwellers on Sunday, since it would be a complete lockdown.

“Where will they go for food when all the shops and hotels are closed. So, we cook lunch at the herbal park in Otteri and people from the nearby areas too come and eat there,” she says. According to the inspector, serving the needy is addictive too. “We should not hesitate to do what we can to people requiring the help,” says Rajeswari.

The first thing she did after receiving the award was to go to the police station and click a photo with her subordinates because she feels they are equally eligible for the recognition.

But why is she so inclined to reach out to the needy beyond the call of duty. “I know how it feels not to get food and not being able to buy the little things. I have been through all of it,” she says.

Recognition for voluntary work of fireman at Manali station

S Karunanidhi, the leading fireman at Manali station, took it upon himself to feed pavement dwellers in and around Manali when the lockdown came into force.

“We cooked food and did not make people come to the station. Instead, we went around and provided food,” says Karunanidhi. It is not just for that he was awarded. He also took the initiative of talking to the panchayat officials in and around Manali to sanitise the areas. “We received disinfectant from the Corporation and sanitised the streets in our jurisdiction every day. Our senior officers were very encouraging,” he says.

While he is overjoyed about receiving the award from the Chief Minister, he also received a special gift from DGP C Sylendra Babu, a book authored by the officer himself. A native of Thoothukudi district, Karunanidhi has been in the service for 18 years. His wife too is a police constable and serves at the Central Prison, Puzhal.

AE who ensured Dr Simon a decent burial honoured for fighting corona stigma

For S Kalaiarasan, a 35-year-old assistant engineer attached to Anna Nagar zone of the Chennai Corporation, the pain of a severe head injury and a fracture was long gone when he received frontline warrior award on the Independence Day.

Kalaiarasan was a part of the team which tried to perform last rites to Dr Simon Hercules, a COVID-19 victim, at a cemetery in Kilpauk in April.

“When we went to the cemetery, some residents of a nearby locality opposed and prevented us from burying the body. As over 100 persons were gathered, we were forced to take the body to Velangadu burial ground,” Kalaiarasan recounted. He added that arrangements were almost complete at the Velangadu and the team was about to bury the body when some residents started crowding. “They were opposing us and started attacking. An elderly man came towards me a wooden log to hit me. When I was trying to ward him off, another person hit my head with a stone from behind. I fractured by hand at the fall,” he said.

Kalaiarasan got admitted to a hospital immediately and recovered after 20 days of hospitalisation and more than 12 stitches to join the fight against the virus.

Conservancy worker says ‘award's for all’

E Jayasankar, a 46-year-old Chennai Corporation conservancy worker, had contracted the virus from his workplace and hospitalised, but he wants to share the honour that he received from the CM with other conservancy workers, who continue the fight against COVID-19.

“I am working in Pudupet area, where a huge number of cases were reported during the initial days of the outbreak. I worked hard despite the heavy workload and collected garbage from infected houses. After nearly a month, I developed symptoms and got tested only to confirm COVID-19 positive,” Jayasankar said.

Soon after his sample confirmed positive, he was admitted to a hospital for 13 days and kept under home isolation for another seven days. To his relief, his family members tested negative for the virus.

“After I recovered from the disease, I started working again in the same area. The residents were kind to me and supported with encouraging words. I dedicate the award to all the conservancy workers who are fighting the virus. The award encourages me to work harder,” he said.

Positive vibes win it for city Corporation’s fever camps

Fever camps conducted by the Greater Chennai Corporation have not only become one of the successful COVID-19 control strategies, but the initiative also bagged Chief Minister’s Good Governance Award during the Independence Day celebrations on Saturday.

State Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani received the award from Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. The civic body received the award for breaking the chain by conducting the camps.

According to Chennai Corporation data, the civic body had identified as many as 17,555 COVID-19 cases between May 8 to August 10, which is 16 per cent of the total 1.10 lakh cases reported until August 10.

During the period, the civic body had conducted as many as 31,702 fever camps in which 17.86 lakh people had attended. Of the 17.86 lakh, the civic body had identified 1.02 persons with influenza-like-illness (ILI) symptoms. The civic body had also collected more than 96,000 swabs and sent them for testing.

“Around 18 per cent of the persons identified at the fever camps were found to be infected. This has prevented the potential spread of the virus from this 18 per cent to others,” an official said.

It may be noted that the positivity rate among the persons with influenza-like-illness (ILI) symptoms have come down after July 3. Among the tested samples up to July 3, as many as 10,093 persons have been identified as positive cases, which is 28.7 per cent of the total ILI cases.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash said the award is a great recognition for the Corporation as a whole. “A collective effort by our team from joint commissioner to doctors and field workers of the Corporation as a collective body made it happen,” he added.

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